Missing Boater near St. Marks Lighthouse

By: Lindsey Day Email
By: Lindsey Day Email

The search continues for a boater near the St. Marks Lighthouse in Wakulla county. David Clark took his boat out on Monday. His boat came back, but he didn't.

On Tuesday David Clark's son went out to the boat ramp where his dad took off from. He climbed into his father's boat, still trying to take in the tough news.

61 year old David Clark went out on the waters around 5:30 Monday morning. His wife was expecting him back around 1 p.m. but he never showed up. Boaters who visit St. Marks say it's important to communicate with others before heading out.

"We let our significant others know when we go and about where we think we'd be during the day and what time we hope to be home by the evening," says boater Andy Ellis.

This is the boat that Clark was in. The GPS on the boat indicates that the boat took an abrupt left turn at 1:28 pm. At 1:29 p.m. the boat started drifting, and it continued to drift for the next five and a half hours.
Katie Purcell, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation community relations coordinator says, "It's not known for sure if he was ejected or how he wound up out of te boat, but they're trying to locate him at this point."

It wasn't until later Monday evening that Clark's boat was found. Boaters in the area say there are crews who monitor the waters.

A local boater, Bob Cross says, "Refugee personnel monitor this ramp continuously. If there's a car or a boat left here at sunset when it gets dark they're very concerned."

Florida Fish and Wildlife Consesrvation Commission, the coast guard, and the sheriff's office are still out searching.

Boaters say there are safety measures you can take. You can wear a safety lanyard. That way if you get thrown out of the boat, the motor turns off.

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