Man killed in airboat accident

Body of man found after airboat accident

Author: Erik Sandoval, Reporter,
Published On: Oct 13 2013 12:43:08 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 14 2013 12:27:35 AM EDT
ralph oliver

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers said they found the body of a man who disappeared after he went out on an airboat Saturday.

Officials said the son of 61-year-old Ralph "Danny" Oliver called 911 after his father did not return from being on the St. John's River on an airboat.

Officials said FWC officers responded to the area of State Road 407 and State Road 528 to start their search around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Officials said the airboat was located, but they could not find Oliver. A search was conducted all night and around 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the body of Oliver was found near the boat ramp.

Officials are continuing their investigation and have not released the cause of the accident.

Sunday, friends gathered at one of his favorite hangouts, the Lone Cabbage, which sits along the St. John's River.

"It's just really been a bad day," said Jenny Cooley, a restaurant server and lifelong friend of Oliver. "You keep thinking he's going to walk in the front door with his air boat parked and say, 'Jenny, I need a drink,' or 'what do you want to make me today?'"

"He was going what he loved doing -- air boating," said friend Dale Fowler. "That's how he went out."

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