Man, dog rescued from capsized boat near Ortega Bridge

Boat overturned as severe weather moved through area

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man and a dog were rescued Wednesday afternoon after a boat capsized in the Ortega River, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The man and dog were said to be OK. Photos sent from a News4Jax viewer showed the boat tipped on its side near the Ortega Bridge.

Bryan Bartosik, who lives in the area, said severe weather was moving through the area around the time the boat tipped over.

"It was a real bad storm, the wind was coming out of the north, and I went out and looked at the river and the boat was capsized," Bartosik said.

Bartosik said two men and the dog had been living on the boat. He said the boat has been an issue for the neighborhood. He said two weeks ago, he and several neighbors attended a meeting with FWC to voice their concerns.

"They were worried about two people living on the boat. No sanitation device for sewage, plus an animal was living on there," Bartosik said. "Some people complained about the dog barking, some people complained about the sound of the generator."

Bartosik said the FWC has issued citations to the people on the boat.


The men didn't want to speak on camera, but they said the boat has a macerator pump. They claim the septic tank is dry and the boat doesn’t have a gas tank or a motor.

“Hopefully we’ll get something done about it to get the boat out of here," Bartosik said.

The FWC told Bartosik they notified the Department of Environmental Protection about the capsized boat.

News4Jax requested information from the FWC and the State Attorney's Office in reference to citations for the boat. An FWC spokesperson said she would be reaching out to its law enforcement personnel to determine the situation with the boat. The State Attorney's Office did not immediately respond.

Bartosik pointed out there's also a sunken boat in the river that has been abandoned since Memorial Day. He's hoping both will soon be removed.

Severe weather rolled through the Jacksonville area in the late afternoon hours. Just down the road, a tree fell on a house on McGirts Boulevard.

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