The reports say helicopters and rescue ship found his body after nearly two hours of search, but efforts to revive him were not successful.
Eitan served as Israel's army chief from 1978 to 1983. But his term ended in disgrace after an official inquiry faulted him for failing to prevent the massacre of Palestinians by Israeli-allied Christian militiamen in Lebanon in 1982.
Later he entered politics, formed the ultra-nationalist Tzomet party and served as agricultural minister in the 1990's. He strongly opposed handing over land in peace deals with the Palestinians.Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.