TAMPA, Fla. - Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission ( FWC) are trying to figure out how a day of boating turned deadly for a 28-year old man.
Investigators say Chris Zutes was coming from a home in the Culbreath Isles area Wednesday evening around 7:00 p.m., when he somehow lost control of the vessel.
Baryl Martin, Public Information Officer for the FWC, said, "A 20-foot flat boat collided with a marker or navigational aid in the area and then collided with the seawall."
Officials say Zutes was thrown from the boat. The Tampa Police dive team later found his body between the Howard Frankland and Gandy bridges.
They continued Thursday to look for more evidence to help find out what caused the crash.
Martin said, "The investigator is going out to survey the vicinity, see if we missed anything regarding vessel parts, or any transfer marks between the seawall or transfer marks for the marker or the navigational aid that was struck during the accident."
ABC Action News got a look at Zutes' boat Thursday. FWC is keeping it at it's Tampa office for evidence. The crash damaged the front and side of the boat.
Word of the accident spread quickly at the Gandy Boat Ramp. Boater Gil Rodriguez heard about the tragedy this morning on the radio. Rodriguez said, "You have to be careful. It's like driving a car. Pay attention to what you're doing. Look where you're going."
FWC officials want this accident to serve as a reminder to be aware of your surroundings when driving a boat and slow down when other vessels are around. Also, wear a life jacket. That's something they say, in Zutes' case, could have saved his life.
The investigation could take weeks, if not months, to complete.
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