August 13, 2013

Sheriff’s detectives investigating man missing from boat

A 39 year old man from Trinity, Florida is missing. He jumped into the water from a boat to save a child in distress. The child was recovered, but the man went missing during his rescue efforts.

Brian Kowalski was on the boat trip with several other adults and children when the incident took place about 4 p.m. off the gulf side of West Summerland Key. The boat was towing one of the children behind it, hanging on to a rope. Several others were also in the water. The child began to show distress, so Kowalski jumped in the water to help him.

As he was helping the child back to the boat, Kowalski also began to show signs of distress. Two people on board the boat attempted to turn the boat around so they could help, but the rope had become entangled around the propeller. As they struggled to remove the rope from the prop, they lost sight of Kowalski. The child he was trying to rescue was recovered and is fine.

They called 911 for assistance. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded and searched for the missing man until 10 p.m. He was not found. The search is expected to continue today.

Sheriff’s detectives have been assigned to investigate the case.

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