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Crews recover body of missing boater in Madeira Beach

A dingy carrying four people sank late Friday night behind Madeira Beach Fundamental.

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Crews on Saturday recovered the body of a boater who never made it back to shore after the dingy he was riding in sank.

It happened just after 11 p.m. Friday near Madeira Beach Fundamental elementary school on Tom Stuart Causeway, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Nicholas Dunski, 31, launched his dingy from the nearby McDonald's with 33-year-old Dwight Haggins, Haggins' 6-year-old son and 31-year-old Erik Echols, deputies said. The boaters headed south under the Tom Stuart Causeway and planned on reaching Dunski's boat anchored offshore.

The dingy began taking on water and eventually sank near the school. Deputies say everyone was able to get back to shore except for Haggins, who was not wearing a life jacket.

Haggins' body was found Saturday morning, the sheriff's office said in an updated statement. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of death.

The Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had been assisting the sheriff's office in looking for Haggins.

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