Palm Beach Gardens boater who drowned in Shark River area identified

The Palm Beach Gardens man who drowned over the weekend in the Shark River area on the west side of the Everglades National Park has been identified as William Crick, 66.

According to the National Park Service, Crick was on a rented houseboat in Oyster Bay when a flats boat attached to the houseboat broke loose. Apparently, he dove into the water to recover the boat and struggled, according to a friend who went to find a life jacket. When the friend returned, the man was no longer visible in the water.

Severe thunderstorms Sunday hampered efforts to search for the man, who had been missing since 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The name of the friend who alerted authorities, a 67-year-old man from Wellington, also was not released.

The Coast Guard and Everglades National Park officials searched into the night for the missing man, even calling in a Jayhawk helicopter with night-vision capabilities from the Coast Guard station in Clearwater.

Crick's body has been turned over to the Monroe County Medical Examiner, Park Service spokeswoman Linda Friar said Sunday evening.

Staff writers Willie Howard and Leslie Gray Streeter contributed to this story.

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