MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A body found floating in the waters of Blue Lagoon Wednesday is that of a 32-year-old man who disappeared while out on a personal watercraft with friends earlier this week, according to authorities.
Florida Fish and Wildlife pulled the body of Manuel Aponte out of the lake two days after he went missing.
“We had vessels in the water all night long. Around 7:00 in the morning we recovered a body,” said FWC Capt. Alberto Maza. “In the same location where we had our divers searching yesterday.”
The accident happened Monday in the area off the Dolphin Expressway, east of 57th Avenue, around 3:30 p.m. Aponte was with several other riders heading back to shore.
“It’s almost like he hit something. I’m not sure,” said witness Rick Rojo. “The Jet Ski almost came to a full stop and he just catapulted over it. Landed head first, feet in the air.”
Aponte vanished underwater.
One of the other riders circled around but couldn’t find him. It set off a challenging search and rescue effort that included choppy, murky water with limited visibility and large amounts of seaweed.
Family members said Aponte, a Cuban-born husband and father of 1-year-old Sammy, arrived to the U.S. nine years ago and was living the American dream. He owned a heavy equipment construction company.
“I think destiny, you know, make him suffer this end,” said Aponte’s cousin. “It’s sad to live this moment.”