FWC: Missing Clay County boater's body found

Man reported missing on Black Creek Thursday evening

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – The body of a boater who disappeared while fishing on Black Creek Thursday evening was found Friday afternoon, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The family of Vincent Testa, 27, was gathered at the Main Street boat ramp Friday afternoon hoping to hear good news from the search when wildlife officers came back with news that his body had been found.

The search started about 6 p.m. Thursday after the Clay County Sheriff's Office was called about a boat accident.

"He was with a group of people. They were out enjoying the day on the boat in Black Creek and an accident occurred in which he lost his life," FWC Lt. Phillip Glover said.

Clay and Duval counties dive teams joined FWC in the search Thursday night and again Friday morning. Using sonar, they focused on an area a mile and a half from where they believed the boat accident happened.

Residents of Middleburg watched the scene, sad to see another tragedy on Black Creek. 

"I said, 'The creek got another one,'" Sammy Miller said.

Last year a man drowned while trying to swim across the river at the boat ramp.

"I've lost about five or six people, friends of mine, on this creek right here," said Edward Starling.

As Testa's family grieves, officials said his death is a painful reminder of how important it is to be aware and safe.

"Make sure you have all of your safety equipment and everything that you need to make sure that the tragedy like this doesn't happen," Glover said.

FWC said an autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of Testa's death. Officers continue to investigate what caused the accident.