POLK COUNTY, Fla – A Bartow man drowned after falling out of a boat while fishing in Mulberry, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The drowning happened Wednesday at a pond located north of Arnaz Drive.
The body of Bruce Morgan, 62, was recovered by divers Wednesday night, according to a news release.
Another man who was with Morgan managed to swim to shore, deputies said. He told investigators he tried to help Morgan but got tangled in some plants.
“This is such a tragedy…our prayers are with Mr. Morgan’s family and friends. What makes this drowning more tragic is that it could have been avoided with the required safety equipment such as life jackets or floatation devices,” Sheriff, Grady Judd said. “I cannot stress enough how important it is for each person on a watercraft to have some sort of safety equipment to help keep them afloat in situations like this.”
Divers found the boat 50 yards offshore, according to a news release. Morgan’s body was found about 20 yards from shore in about 9 feet of water, deputies said.