TAMPA, Florida -- Officials located the body of a man who went underwater and did not resurface as he tried to push a rental boat off of a sandbar Friday afternoon north of the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that the deceased boater was found around 9:52 a.m. Saturday morning. A spokesman said the victim was found in seven feet of water not far from where he went under.

The boater was taken to the medical examiner office awaiting family to identify the body.

Crews with Tampa Fire Rescue are leading a search operation off the northeast side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa. 


Crews say a boater, who was out with his fiancee, was attempting to push a boat off of a sandbar when he slipped and fell, possibly hitting his head on a rock in the water. The boat drifted and he surfaced twice, before disappearing.

His fiancee then called 911.

Two men on shore went in to find the man, but were unsuccessful. He was not wearing a life vest.

Crews from the Coast Guard and Clearwater Fire were also on scene.

Fast moving currents and breezy conditions due to a cold front over Florida is making the search more challenging.