Body of Port St. Lucie boy, 9, recovered in Polk County lake, sheriff says

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:35 AM EST
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The body of a 9-year-old Port St. Lucie boy who fell off a boat into a Polk County lake over the weekend has been found, authorities said Tuesday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd tweeted just before 10:30 a.m. that the boy's body has been recovered and his family has been notified.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office, along with multiple agencies, responded to Lake Annie, south of the town of Dundee, just after 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities said the boy — whose name has not been released — and his two brothers were on their father's pontoon when child fell over the front and was struck by the boat's propeller.

The boy's father immediately jumped into the water to look for his son, while one of the other boys called 911.

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

"Our hearts are broken for the family because we all can understand the gravity of losing a child like this when you're out for just a wonderful afternoon on the boat," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Polk County Fire Rescue, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Seminole County Sheriff's Office were all involved in the search efforts over the past three days.

WFLX learned that the boy played soccer in Port St. Lucie for the Mako Soccer Club.

The president of the league said the child played in a travel select competitive program, and he is crushed by the loss of a young athlete who was a "good, fun, active young man."

The league president also said he hasn't been in contact with the family since the tragedy but another team manager has spoken with them. They hope to be able to conduct a tribute in the near future and find any way possible to support the child's family.

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