OVIEDO, Fla. - The Air Force Reserve has joined the search for one of the two boaters who were missing since Saturday after the other boater was found Wednesday afternoon in Lake Jesup.
The body of Jason M. Cobb, was found Wednesday afternoon in Lake Jesup, floating near Bird Island in approximately 6 feet of water, authorities said. There were no apparent signs of trauma to the body, FWC said.
Charles T. Jackson, 26, of Deltona, remains missing. Rescue reservists from the Air Force Reserve's 920th Rescue Wing have joined the recovery efforts. Six "Guardian Angels equipped with two Zodiac boats, sonar detectors, radios, flashlights and an array of other equipment to search remote areas," according to a release.
"We are very appreciative to partner with the 920th Rescue Wing whose members and equipment will supplement the existing resources of the Seminole, Volusia and Orange county sheriff's offices, as well as the FWC. The expertise they bring to the table is invaluable in this search effort and will hopefully help hasten the recovery and bring closure for Mr. Jackson's family and friends," said Capt. Chris Roszkowiak, area supervisor for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in a release.
The Guardian Angels will continue the search until sunset on Thursday and will resume again at sunrise if needed.
"Everybody here is grieving but at the same time you've got to move forward because we still have Charlie out there," said Dustin Erickson, a family friend.
Cobb, 30, of Osteen, and Jackson were reported missing on Dec. 29 when they did not return home from a boating trip on Lake Jesup, authorities said. The two men had launched at Lemon Bluff about 5:30 p.m. and drove the boat across the lake to Black Hammock fish camp. The two reportedly left Black Hammock in the boat around 1:30 a.m. Dec. 29 heading back to Lemon Bluff and hadn't been seen since.
A friend found the empty boat about 12 hours later approximately three-quarters of a mile north of Black Hammock, on the north shoreline of Lake Jesup. FWC investigators said they suspect the men were somehow ejected from the vessel. There were two life jackets, two paddles and keys to their truck found on the boat.
The FWC, Seminole County Sheriff's Office and Volusia County Sheriff's Office have been searching by vessel, helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft and by foot since Saturday afternoon. In addition, hundreds of friends and family of the men organized their own searches.
"We know how difficult this has been for the family and friends of Jason and Charles, and while this is not the result we all had hoped for, it does at least bring some closure to Jason's family and friends," said Lt. Jeff Hudson, FWC incident commander.
Search efforts will continue tonight and tomorrow for Jackson, authorities said.
Stay tuned to Local 6 for more details as the emerge.