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Man who died in boating accident in Pine Island Sound identified

By Staff | Apr 4, 2019

Officials have released the name of a Bokeelia man who drowned Wednesday after he fell from a boat in Pine Island Sound and was struck by the propeller.

Johnny Messer, 32, fell from the boat he was operating after the wake of a passing vessel caused him to lose his balance, according to a report from Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Messer, Darrel Parr, 36, of St. James City and Jeremiah Massey, 38, of Tallahassee, were on their way to Cayo Costa to work.

One of passengers jumped overboard and pulled Messer from the water.

Witnesses, though, were unable to revive Messer who was pronounced deceased on scene, officials said.

“Johnny was such a wonderful young man,” Jim Frock, owner of Seven Seas Bait and Tackle said. “He came to a number of our dock parties, Johnny was always friendly and I’ll always remember him with a big smile.”

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Coast Guard and the FWC all responded.

The incident is under investigation by Florida Fish & Wildlife.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s most recent recreational boating report there were a collective 4,291 accidents in 2017, resulting in 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries, and approximately $46 million of damage to property.