Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies recovered the body of a missing boater in the waters of Madeira Beach on Saturday, May 15, a day after his friend’s small vessel sank, stranding him and three others offshore.
Dwight Haggins, 33, was reportedly not wearing a flotation device and could not make the swim to shore; his three companions, including Haggin’s 6-year-old son, were uninjured.
The day of the incident, Friday, May 14, the group launched the small dingy from the Madeira Beach McDonald’s, 650 150th Ave., hoping to reach a friend’s boat anchored offshore.
According to police, once the vessel took on water, it quickly sank behind the Madeira Beach Fundamental Elementary School, 591 Tom Stuart Causeway. At 11:10 p.m., a 911 caller reported hearing calls for help near the school.
The PCSO Marine Unit discovered his body, with help from the PCSO Dive Team, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Detectives say his next of kin has been notified and he has been removed from NCIC/FCIC as a missing adult,” PCSO wrote in a release. “The Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.”
The investigation is ongoing.