STOCK ISLAND, Fla. – A 27-year-old snorkeler died earlier this week after suffering a head injury that was possibly caused from being struck by a boat, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed on Thursday.
According to FWC spokesman Rob Klepper, FWC officers were checking two boats Monday during lobster sport season near Stock Island.
He said an officer was notified that a 27-year-old man from Port Orange who was snorkeling in the area had not yet surfaced.
“Search efforts were immediately initiated, and additional FWC units, an FWC aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft were brought into the area to assist,” Klepper said in a news release.
The victim’s body was recovered from the water several hours later.
While authorities believe the head trauma on the victim’s body appears to be from a boat, the investigation remains ongoing.
“Due to the FWC vessel in proximity at the time and location the accident may have occurred, the FWC has requested that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conduct an independent investigation of the incident to ensure complete transparency,” Klepper said. “This is an active and ongoing boating accident investigation. All of us at the FWC extend our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of the victim during this time.”