A man drowned Sunday at Boca Bash, the first death to happen at the annual boat party, according to the Boca Raton Police Department.
The event was held on Lake Boca, where 32-year-old Francis Roselin, of West Palm Beach, was boating with friends including Strogoff Prevot.
Prevot said the group decided to swim from the boat to a more shallow area known as the sandbar.
He said he turned around while swimming and Roselin had suddenly disappeared. He swam back to the boat to look for him while his friends found police officers and reported Roselin missing.
Marine units along with a PBSO helicopter, Ocean Rescue and the Coast Guard began a search but they were unable to find the 32 year old, police said.
A swimmer later discovered Roselin at the bottom of the Intracoastal Waterway in an area with five feet of water just after 5 p.m., according to police who said there were attempts to revive him using CPR.
Police say this is an ongoing investigation and they ask anyone with more information to call Boca Raton Detective Lazarus Kimsal at (561) 620-6144.
Daniel Trieper was at Boca Bash Sunday on his kayak.
“Boca Bash was fun. Plenty of boats out there," he said. "Bigger than I’ve ever seen it before.”
He said he picked up about 10 people throughout the day who were struggling to swim.
“I go around, I pick up the trash and if I see people who can’t swim, I grab them on my kayak and bring them to their boats," he said.
Gil Carneiro said Boca Bash can be fun, but it can also be risky.
“You’re going to see a lot of people jump in between boats and some people don’t even know how to operate a watercraft and they’re out there," he said. "Maybe they rented one or they borrowed one."
That's why he closes down his business for the weekend during Boca Bash.
"Every year we have to just because the boat traffic around this area is insane," said Carneiro, owner of Palm Beach Hydro Flight.
Boca Bash is held in state waters, so all police can do is manage it.
“It is a very safe event and it should continue," Trieper said. "I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
Boca Raton Police PIO Mark Economou said the department will look at security at the event and decide if additional resoures are needed next year, which is the process for all events.