Fisherman found in Indian River identified

Friend calls police after man falls into water Eau Gallie Causeway


MELBOURNE, Fla. – Rescuers recovered the body of a man who fell off the Eau Gallie Causeway while fishing with a friend.

The man, identified as Richard Paul Tarpey III, 31, of Indian Harbour Beach,  was found by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter about 50 yards north of the causeway around 10:45 a.m., Melbourne police said.

According to police, authorities got a call around 6 a.m. from a fisherman reporting that a man had gone into the water but not surfaced. The caller said his friend fell while fishing off a catwalk under the causeway bridge about two hours earlier, police said.

The man apparently decided to swim to shore but didn't make it.  The apparent drowning is under investigation.

The 911 call prompted an hours-long search by Melbourne police's marine unit, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office helicopter, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission crews and the Coast Guard.

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