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Searches conclude with body recoveries

By Staff | Dec 24, 2014


Emergency divers for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office assisted Tuesday in the recovery of a missing paddle boarder, whose body was found off Sanibel Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Friday afternoon, the second body of a man who went missing a week prior, was recovered floating just off the Sanibel Causeway, thus ending both recovery efforts in the span of just one week.

The body of Chad Winter, 19, was located approximately 300 yards offshore in 10 feet of water near the Algiers Beach access Tuesday.

Winter’s parents have been notified and the Lee County Medical Examiner will determine cause of death, officials said.

Sanibel Police Chief William Tomlinson conveyed his, and the community’s, condolences.

“It is a tragic loss for all those who knew and loved Chad,” Tomlinson said.

After suspending the search for missing kayaker 32-year-old Andrew Barber, authorities had to open another search for a missing 19-year-old paddleboarder off of Algiers Beach on Sanibel Island Monday, Dec. 15.

Barber went missing late Friday night Dec. 12, approximately around 11 p.m. by his friend Kyle Woolwine. The duo were kayaking, when it flipped over in San Carlos Bay and both were forced from the boat.

Woolwine was able to swim safely back to shore, but Barber was reportedly swept by the current and didn’t make it back.

Neither were wearing a lifejacket, while the empty kayak was found Saturday morning three miles off shore, along with Barber’s backpack.

Boats and a helicopter were dispatched Friday night, along with a search of the shoreline. The search went through Saturday and into Sunday. A sonar hit was made Sunday with the image potentially that of a body just off the Causeway.

But Monday’s (Dec. 15) search, which included divers, did not turn up Barber.

Barber’s mother joined the search by kayak Sunday, Dec. 14, as his brother helped search through the air, since he is a pilot.

Barber’s body was recovered Friday, Dec. 19, afternoon.

Winter went missing Monday afternoon approximately at 3:15 p.m. off Algiers Beach Dec. 15, as the Sanibel Fire Department responded to the call.

The 19-year-old’s girlfriend was with him on the paddleboard and was able to swim back to shore. Lee County Sheriff’s Office had a heavy contingent of searchers combing through the area, including a helicopter and many boats.