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9-year-old boy found dead in Polk County lake

Deputies say the boy fell from a boat into Lake Annie on Saturday.

DUNDEE, Fla. — Dive teams have located the body of the 9-year-old boy who fell from a boat into a Polk County lake over the weekend, the sheriff's office said on Tuesday.

Sheriff's office deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue responded just after 2:30 p.m. Saturday to Lake Annie to look for the child after he didn't resurface, the agency said in a news release.

The boy and his two brothers were on his father's pontoon boat when he fell over the front and was hit by the boat's propeller, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies say the father jumped into the water to look for his son while one of the other boys called 911.

The child's body was found around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the same area where he went overboard — located near the middle of the lake at a depth of about 17 feet, sheriff's office spokesperson Brian Bruchey said. 

"It's a tragedy and an unimaginable nightmare for the family of the boy. We are using extensive resources to find him," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd while search efforts were ongoing.

"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."

Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

Since the weekend, the sheriff's office marine unit, underwater search and recovery team, aviation and drone units had been involved in the search, the agency said in the release. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provided assistance, as well.

The sheriff's office says the boy was not wearing a personal flotation device when he fell into the water and was not required to wear one by law.

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