A 32-year-old man is presumed dead after his personal watercraft hit a wave in the waters near Northwest 57th Avenue and 8th Street, fire officials say.
Witnesses called 911 after they said they saw a man on a waterbike hit a wave, fall off the craft and never resurface Monday in the Blue Lagoon area in Miami. Police and fire officials were dispatched to the scene at around 3:30 p.m. as divers searched the waters.
“We have been unable to locate him,” said Ignatius Carroll, Miami Fire Rescue spokesman. “The operation has now turned into a recovery effort.”
A security guard at a nearby building said he witnessed the man fall as several other riders were making their way back to the shore, Carroll said.
“One watercraft went up, hit a wave and the operator went straight into the water and never surfaced,” he said.
One of the man’s friends, who was driving another watercraft, circled around and tried to locate him. He was unsuccessful.
Miami police along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are investigating. Recovery efforts will continue at sunrise Tuesday.
“Several family members were on scene praying for some good news,” Carroll said, “But the truth is, we still have a person missing in the water.”
Carroll said divers faced “pretty choppy waters. That lagoon is known for being very dangerous for divers, especially at nighttime. There are many heavy boulders and large dead trees.”
Police have yet to identify the missing man. Fire officials said there was a life jacket found in the water, although it was not confirmed whether it belonged to the man.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.