Man falls off dock, drowns in Halifax River, Volusia deputies say

Cops say man was drinking with friend in boat when accident occurred

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A man drowned after falling off a boat and into the Halifax River on Monday after a night of drinking, according to Volusia County deputies.

Gregory Beard, 59, had his boat docked with a friend at the Adventure Yacht Harbor Marina in Wilbur-by-Sea and drank several mixed drinks, deputies said.

As Beard climbed onto the dock to go back to his own boat he was leaning against a piling when he fell into the water, deputies said.

His friend said he was able to reach into the water and grab Beard's hand in an effort to guide him to a float behind Beard's boat, but the man said Beard was too drunk to swim to it, according to deputies.

The friend told deputies he eventually lost contact with Beard and tried to use a pole to hold him out of the water, but that didn't work either.

Deputies said when arrived at the dock just before 10 p.m., Beard was dead.

While there were no signs of foul play, the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to confirm the cause of death, according to deputies.

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