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Man who drowned near Palm Harbor Marina in West Palm Beach ID'd

Posted: 4:31 AM, May 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-22 08:20:22Z
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — UPDATE: Police has identified the man who drowned Tuesday morning in the Intracoastal Waterway, near Palm Harbor Marina, as 51-year-old Christopher Del Donna of Boca Raton.

EARLIER STORY:

Police said they have recovered a body following a large-scale search Tuesday morning at Palm Harbor Marina, located at 300 North Flagler Dr., in downtown West Palm Beach.

The body was found underneath a boat and is believed to be a man in his 40s they have been searching for this morning.

West Palm Beach Battalion Chief Danny Collazo said crews responded at 1:53 a.m. to a sailboat fire at the same location. The boat sustained damage from an electrical fire from an exhaust fan.

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Collazo said they transitioned into a rescue mode after witnesses told firefighters that a man had fallen in the water, but police say the man actually jumped in and was swimming around in the harbor.

The Coast Guard said they were notified by the sheriff's office of the incident and launched a 33-foot vessel to aid in the search for the person.

Despite having several divers in the water and searching for more than an hour, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue crews were unable to locate anyone.

At 5:47 a.m., the investigation was turned over to the police department, who continued to search the water until the body was found around 8 a.m.

“The rule of thumb is that we search for about an hour. The most survival time is the first 15 minutes," said Collazo.

It's unclear if the man was on the sailboat at the time of the fire.

A medical examiner will determine the official cause of death.