National Safe Boating Week off to tragic start
Monday, May 24, 2010
Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3200
Adrian Flores-Cerros and three friends went out for
a fun day of fishing and joy riding on Eagle Lake, a popular
destination for Polk County boaters. Sadly for Flore-Cerros
(D.O.B. 09/08/86) of 3384 Royal Oak Drive North, Mulberry, it was
his final destination.
The overloaded, 14-foot boat was near the middle of
the 647-acre lake at around 2:30 p.m. on May 23, when a wave
suddenly swamped and sank the vessel. The boat was equipped
with a 25-horsepower outboard motor. What the boat wasn't
equipped with is of greater significance. There were only two
life jackets on board. One of the life jackets was not in
serviceable condition, and the vessel had no signaling device as
required by law. Unrelated to the accident, there was no fire
"Failure to exercise sound judgment is all too
often the main factor leading to recreational boating deaths," said
Capt. Humberto Navarro, regional law enforcement investigations
supervisor for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
FWC officers and Polk County Sheriff's deputies in
boats searched the lake Sunday afternoon, hoping to find
Flores-Cerros alive. Helicopters from both agencies aided in
the search. The Polk County Sheriff's Office dive team found
and recovered the body of Flores-Cerros at about 8:30 p.m.
Navarro urged boaters to always wear a life jacket,
never overload a boat, maintain a proper lookout and never use
alcohol or drugs while operating a boat.
For more information about boating safety from the
FWC, visit MyFWC.com/Boating
or call the FWC's regional office in Lakeland at 863-648-3200.