NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion S Palm Beach CountyBoynton Beach


'My son was so important to me:' Body of boy, 8, who fell off seawall into Boynton Inlet found

'We would be at home and he would beg for me to take him fishing. It’s something we did every day,' boy's father says
Poster image (1).jpg
Posted at 7:22 AM, Jun 13, 2024

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The body of an 8-year-old boy who who fell into the Intracoastal Waterway in Boynton Beach on Thursday morning has been found, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.

According to the sheriff's office, the child was fishing with his father in the 6900 block of North Ocean Boulevard just before 6 a.m. when he fell off a seawall into the Boynton Inlet and went missing.

The boy's dad call authorities, who responded to the scene immediately.

“My son was so important to me," the boy's father told WPTV reporter Joel Lopez. "His passion was fishing. We would be at home and he would beg for me to take him fishing. It’s something we did every day.”

The sheriff's office, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Boynton Beach Fire Rescue, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Palm Beach County lifeguards were involved for hours in the search effort, which eventually turned into a recovery mission.

The child's body was pulled from the water just after 10:30 a.m., PBSO said.

Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 9.49.19 AM.png

"With the recovery mode, usually what happens — because of the time and been under the water for that amount of time — the chance for a successful rescue is very diminished," said Capt. Tom Reyes with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

The sheriff's office said the current was strong and the agencies were using jet skis, divers, and helicopters to look for the child.

Chelsea Sanabia, a spokeswoman for the city of Boynton Beach, said it's critical to make sure you're taking every step to be safe in the water.

"We live in a coastal community. So always do everything that you can to make sure that you're exercising caution," Sanabia said. "Wear your life jackets and just be cautious, especially around the inlet. This is a really busy inlet. We have a lot of boats that come in here and a lot of fishers. Everything that you can to be cautious."

According to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, so far this year it has responded to approximately 40 “open-water incidents” and 14 “drowning” calls.

An open-water incident is any incident in a body of water such as a lake, ocean, inlet, retention pond. It does not necessarily mean a drowning. It could be a swimmer in distress, or an unmanned kayak.

Drowning calls are usually when someone is found in or under the water, is unresponsive or does not need assistance to shore.

Today's call was an open-water incident that unfortunately resulted in a drowning.