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‘I Still Can’t Believe It’: Family, Friends Devastated After Boaters Die In Accident Off Hollywood

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Family and friends are trying to cope with the loss of two boaters killed in an accident, while a third is recovering.

It was just off the coast of Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, south of the entrance to Port Everglades, where the 22 foot boat overturned.

Only one survived – Thomas Rodriguez. His friends, Eric Pilgrim and John Blount, died.

The three worked together and loved fishing.

“I’m very shocked. I just found out a couple hours ago and I’m very, very shocked,” neighbor Larry Mumford said.

Friends were stunned to hear the news.

According to investigators, the three went out on the water just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

They tied up on a mooring buoy, and shortly after the boat capsized in the rough waters – throwing all three overboard.

Rodriguez was picked up by a passing boat.

“Shocking, very shocking.  I still can’t believe it,” said another neighbor, Hircanna Bruno.

Bruno is Blount’s neighbor.  With tears in her eyes, she recalled his love for the water.

“I couldn’t’ believe it. I couldn’t believe it. He used to go fishing all the time. He’s a good swimmer.  So it’s I still can’t believe it,” Bruno said.

Friends told us Blount was at home on the water, and was happiest with a fishing pole in his hand.

His family released a statement, saying, in part:

“Our family is devastated by this tragedy. We are trying to take comfort in the fact that He died doing what he loved, fishing.”

“He went on boating trips. I know him and his neighbor next door used to go out deep sea fishing and things like that. So he loved to fish,” Mumford said.

Blount leaves behind a devastated wife and three children.

“They’re very good people, hardworking, decent. Very family oriented, always with the kids, doing things with the kids, John, especially. He was an exceptional person,” Bruno said.

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