Survivor grateful for outpouring of support

Posted at 10:50 AM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 18:51:34-04

The Martin County Sheriff's Office released 911 calls made Monday as beachgoers discovered the bodies of two men and a young boy that had washed up along the shoreline.  They also released calls made Sunday that initiated the search for the overdue boating party.

“The thing is I’ve got some friends that go fishing today early and he don’t come back yet and we found his truck right here and normally he comes back early," one friend of the victims called in.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission released its initial report Tuesday.  We learned that when the fishermen killed their motor about a mile and a half offshore from Hobe Sound, it began to take on water.  The boaters tried to remove it by using a bilge pump and by scooping it out with buckets.  But at 8:45 Sunday morning, the vessel capsized, sending all four into the water.

Chopper 5 flew over the scene Tuesday afternoon as FWC is still trying to bring the 24-foot Sea Ray in.

“It looks like the boat has not been pulled out of the water yet.   SeaTow has been having issues as far as the wind and weather conditions.  The boat is in the surf," said Officer Amy Moore.

Once the boat is finally brought back in, the investigation can continue.  It could take weeks to determine what exactly happened.

“We’ve done everything we can do.  We feel very confident that this was a tragedy but it was an accident," said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder.



Investigators have released their initial report into this weekend’s fatal boating tragedy on the Treasure Coast.

The brief synopsis from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the four occupants noticed water coming into their boat about a mile and a half east of Hobe Sound.

The report added that those aboard attempted to remove the water by using a bilge pump and scooping with buckets. The boat then sank and capsized throwing all on board into the water.

The occupants were able to climb aboard the vessel for several hours before being separated.

Three people, including a Palm Beach County Corrections Deputy and his son, drowned.

Survivor Robert Stewart is listed in serious condition at Martin Medical Center in Stuart.

Mr. Stewart has released the following statement.

“My family and I would like to thank everyone for their continued support during this very difficult time. This is a profound tragedy for all of us who knew and loved Fernandas, Jayden and Mr. Willis. My thoughts and prayers are now, and always will be, with them and their families. This is an incredibly emotional time and I am grateful for the outpouring of support while we continue to grieve the loss of our loved ones.”