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Search continues for missing man who disappeared in Miami lagoon

Manuel Aponte thrown from personal watercraft

MIAMI – Divers spent a second day searching a Miami lagoon for a man who disappeared after falling off his personal watercraft Monday.

Miami Department of Fire-Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said the 32-year-old man was riding a WaveRunner in the lagoon near Northwest Seventh Street and Blue Lagoon Drive, just south of Miami International Airport, when he went airborne and disappeared in the water, never resurfacing.

Family and friends identified the missing man as Manuel Aponte, a husband and father to a 1-year-old son.

As crews searched for Aponte on Tuesday, his loved ones waited close by, hoping for a miracle.

The dive teams wrapped up their search for the day around sunset. 

Rick Rojo, who witnessed the incident, said the man was going "pretty fast" when he was thrown from the WaveRunner.

Rescuers spent much of Tuesday searching the lagoon by helicopter and boat, but more than 24 hours later, there was still no sign of Aponte.

Authorities found the WaveRunner and a life jacket that Aponte is believed to have been wearing.

The search was called off for the day late Tuesday.


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