The body of a 9-year-old boy who fell from a pontoon boat and was struck by a propeller on Saturday has been found, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reported on Tuesday.
Rescuers were called to Lake Annie, which is south of Dundee, just after 2:30 p.m. Saturday after the boy fell in. Polk Fire Rescue immediately deployed into the water and their effort was joined by the sheriff’s office’s marine unit, underwater search and recovery team, aviation unit and drone squad.
“It’s a tragedy, and an unimaginable nightmare for the family of the boy,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release on Monday. “We are using extensive resources to find him. We’re working in a large lake with depths up to about 16 feet, with poor visibility, but we’ve been out there 24 hours a day, and will continue to be there until we find him.”
Judd said the boy, who is from Port St. Lucie, was with his father and two brothers on the boat when he fell in over the front and was hit by the propeller. The father jumped in to search for his son while one of the brothers called 911.
The sheriff’s office noted that the boy was not wearing a personal flotation device but also noted he was not required to wear one.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the search.