Man's body discovered in Indian River, motorized canoe was taking on water

A man’s body washed up on the shoreline of the Indian River in Brevard County on Wednesday -- his boat was seen taking on water.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is investigating to learn what went wrong.  So far, the agency says the single-vessel incident happened along Rockledge Drive. Conditions were windy all day, but there is no word yet on whether that was a factor.

Neighbors knew something was wrong, because the whole area was taped off. FWC agents used a makeshift fence to hide the body from public view, because this is such a wide open area.  

“I can tell you, usually when the weather is like this, people aren’t out there -- when it’s this windy,"  said Clint Wilson," because it will catch you quick.”

Wilson builds docks in the area and works on other projects in the houses along Rockledge Drive. He says the type of boat involved in this death investigation is unique.

“A canoe, but it’s got a little motor on the back-end of it. And kayakers you see, but you don’t see canoes out here very often, because the water is too choppy running up and down the river. There is always a crosswind, you can see it’s white capping out there now, and this ain’t the weather for a canoe, the wind can gust across, we get 24 inch waves, and it’ll just turn something like that over in a heartbeat,” Wilson said as he looked at the boat.

FWC and Rockledge police officers converged on this spot when a man’s body was discovered. Witnesses say he was wearing a lifevest. His boat was placed on the dock so investigators could look at it closely. 

The victim’s identity was not immiediately released.