MELBOURNE, Fla. – For Bob Ballinger, a calm morning Monday on the Indian River was not a view worth soaking in.
The tour boat captain with DolFun Tours said he was cruising on his way to pick up guests around 9:20 a.m. when he spotted a man's body face down in the water off Dragon Point, the southern tip of Merritt Island.
"At first it looked like a pelican's back," Ballinger said. "I thought it was a dead pelican. So I was just going over to check it out and when I got closer, I saw it was bigger and I saw the tennis shoes."
Ballinger said the man was also dressed in a brown shirt and a baseball hat.
Sheriff's deputies, with help from Melbourne police and Indian Harbour Beach police, got the body out of the water three hours later.
Ballinger, who said he retired from law enforcement in California, thinks the man had been dead for a few days.
"I just kind of moved the water a little bit so I could see how white his face was and I could tell he had been dead for a while," he said.
it was the third discovery of a body in the Indian River Lagoon in the past three weeks.
The day before Thanksgiving, deputies found a body in Sykes Creek.
There's been no update on that investigation, nor any new information from authorities about the discovery of a body last week in Cocoa Beach.
Police told News 6 late Monday afternoon that there appeared to be no foul play in the discovery Monday morning.