FWC responds to probable drowning in Gulf County


Searchers have recovered the body of the victim.


Officials believe they may have pinpointed the location of a body. They are working to retrieve the body.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m. CDT: No body had been recovered as of Saturday night. The search will resume Sunday morning.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is leading an investigation into the probable drowning of a Gulf County man in the Chipola River near Dalkeith on Saturday.

Gulf County Emergency Management Director Matt Herring said the FWC has a dive team stationed along the river about three or four miles (by boat) from Lister’s Landing.

Locals in the area report seeing search and rescue helicopters.

“We had an elderly gentleman fall off a boat, and he did not come back to the surface of the water,” said Herring. “It is a local gentelman from Gulf County.”

Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison, who is at the scene, said that no bady had been recovered as of late Saturday afternoon.

“He was fishing with his wife and lost his footing and went overboard,” Harrison said. “It’s just very, very murky water, and there’s almost zero visibility, but we’re using all of our normal techniques to try to recover him.”

This report will be updated as more information becomes available.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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