News Releases

Search continues for missing boater

News Release

Monday, May 27, 2013

Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525

A Jacksonville man is missing after jumping off his boat Sunday evening, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.

James Ricks Jr. (DOB 09/10/69) is missing, and the search for him continues.

FWC investigators said that Ricks was operating the boat and on the way back to the Arlington Boat Ramp when he shut down the engine and jumped into the St. Johns River, near the mouth of the Ortega River. The boat’s passengers attempted to toss him a line.

Ricks was unable to reach the line and never resurfaced.

Sunday, members of the FWC, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Jacksonville Fire Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard searched for Ricks. The search was resumed early Monday morning.

The passengers were:

  • Harrison Barr (DOB 10/26/76), Jacksonville;
  • Charlotte Lundy (DOB 08/16/57), Perry;
  • Pamela O'Neal (DOB 02/16/70), Jacksonville;
  • Jennifer Ricks (DOB 07/20/73), Jacksonville;
  • Phillip L. Smith (DOB 01/02/69), Jacksonville.



FWC Facts:
The average Florida manatee is about 10 ft. long and close to 1,200 lbs. They can reach up to 13 ft. and 3,500 lbs. Calves are 3-4 ft. long & weigh 60-70 lbs. at birth.

Learn More at AskFWC