VERO BEACH Fla. — A Vero Beach man died Saturday afternoon after Indian River County Fire Rescue divers pulled him from the black, weed-choked waters of the Main Relief Canal near 30th Street and 10th Parkway, west of Vero Beach Country Club, according to officials.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Joy Hill said the deceased man's name is Eddie Manto. She said Manto was unable to be revived and died.
Hill said Manto and his brother Fredy Preciado, 25, were on plane in a 10-foot aluminum boat with a 15 horsepower outboard motor in the canal when they hit a submerged log, causing the boat to roll and they fell into the water.
None of the required safety equipment was on board the boat.
Preciado managed to swim to shore.
While scuba divers donned gear, Fire Engineer Ray Jones, wearing only shorts and a T-shirt, plunged into the 10-foot-deep water with a mask, fins and snorkel to begin the search. A sheriff's deputy patrolled the canal bank above with a 12-gauge shotgun to guard against an alligator seen in the area.
Fire Medic Tyler Parker entered the water in scuba gear. He surfaced a short time later holding the victim, who was given CPR and put in an ambulance.
Divers described the underwater search visibility as dark and less than one foot.
The FWC is investigating the incident.
Friends of Eddie Manto are collecting donations to help his young family. You can send your donation to: Leslie's Lawn Service, P.O.Box 416, Vero Beach, Florida 32961