FWC News Release
Contact: Investigator Shelby Williams (850) 232-1491
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigators are trying to determine the cause of a boating accident that claimed the life of a Navarre man Sunday.
Patrick Michael Hughes, 52, watched the Blue Angels air show, that took place Friday and Saturday, with others aboard his 19-foot Regal deck boat. Later, he delivered his passengers to the Woodlawn Beach boat ramp in Santa Rosa County. He then headed back out on the water in Santa Rosa Sound.
Escambia County sheriff’s deputies responded Sunday morning to a call reporting a body in the water 20 yards from the pavilion at Opal Beach. Deputies called FWC officers to assist in the investigation. Gulf Island National Seashore park rangers and Santa Rosa County sheriff’s deputies also assisted.
Officers recovered Hughes’ body at 10:45 a.m. They recovered his vessel at 6:30 p.m.
Hughes was not wearing a life jacket.