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Body of missing canoer recovered in Tampa Bay, FWC says

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 10:05:22-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- Officials have confirmed the body recovered Sunday afternoon is that of missing canoer Joshua Ford. 

FWC says the 35-year-old Pinellas Park man's body was found Sunday in Tampa Bay. 

Early Sunday afternoon, Tampa police found a submerged canoe in 6 to 8 feet of water near the Howard Frankland Bridge. Further information was not released indicating whether the discovered canoe matched the description of the one last seen Saturday with missing boater Joshua Ford on board. 

According to officials, Joshua Ford launched his canoe from Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa on Saturday morning at approximately 8 a.m. He was planning to fish between the Courtney Campbell Causeway and the Howard Frankland Bridge and expected to return by 5 p.m. on Saturday. 

When Ford didn't show up, search crews were activated. They began looking for Ford in Old Tampa Bay Saturday night.

Ford's girlfriend contacted the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center about 6:40 p.m., saying Ford had not returned home by sunset as planned, a United States Coast Guard news release said. 

The Coast Guard launched a boat and crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter as part of the search.