Body of missing boater found near Dry Tortugas, Florida

MIAMI — Coast Guard crews ended the search for a missing boater in the vicinity of Dry Tortugas, Florida, after the body of the victim was located Saturday afternoon.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Florida received notification at approximately 2 P.M. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel reporting Monroe County Sheriffs Office divers had located a body matching the description of the missing boater.

Monroe County Sheriffs officials recovered the body from the water and turned it over to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The boating incident, which was first believed to be a possible vessel collision, involved just one fishing boat. After further investigation it was determined the vessel involved began taking on water and capsized early Friday morning. The Coast Guard received the Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert at approximately 2 a.m. from the capsized boat which triggered the multi-agency search and rescue response. One person was pulled to safety by a good Samaritan. He was not wearing a life jacket.

The search for the missing boater intensified throughout the day Friday. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and HC-144 Ocean Sentry Aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark, Coast Guard Cutter Seneca, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission boat crews, and Monroe County Sheriffs were all involved in the search. Rescue crews covered more than 550 sq. miles searching for the missing boater before his body was located Saturday.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident.

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