Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Public safety

Divers recover body in lake where man fell off water scooter Sunday

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TAMPA — Divers recovered a body Monday in the area of an east Tampa lake where a man fell off a water scooter Sunday afternoon and never resurfaced.

Divers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered the body about 11:30 a.m., said James Boogaerts, an agency spokesman. It was found where Eduardo Godfrey, 28, was operating a water scooter in East Lake about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when he made a sharp turn and was thrown from the machine along with a passenger.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner was working to identify the body, but Boogaerts said the divers are no longer actively searching for Godfrey.

The passenger, 24-year-old Jeno Wesley, wore a life jacket and swam back to the scooter, Boogaerts said. Wesley saw Godfrey — who was not wearing a life jacket — struggling at the surface while trying to swim back to the scooter and then disappear, Boogaerts said.

Divers with the FWC and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office searched for Godfrey until sunset Sunday. FWC divers resumed the search Monday morning as family and friends gathered on the shoreline.

The lake, also known as Bellows Lake, is near the intersection of East Hillsborough Avenue and Orient Road, just west of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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