Man presumed dead after falling off personal watercraft at West Miami-Dade lake; search paused

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Divers have paused the search for the body of a man who went missing after falling off a personal watercraft at a lake in West Miami-Dade.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to a lake off the Dolphin Expressway near Northwest 25th Street, at around 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

According to Miami-Dade Police, a group was riding their personal watercrafts on the lake when a man fell off, went into the water and did not resurface.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue divers went into the water to search for the man, but were not able to locate him.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials searched the white pickup truck parked at the water’s edge and the personal watercraft attached to it for anything that could lead to the missing man.

The search for the missing man is a recovery mission, not a rescue mission, officials said.

FWC officers returned to the scene at around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday to secure the scene before investigators return to continue the recovery mission.

A man who works nearby said he has gotten used to seeing people coming out to the lake, but was worried something like this could happen.

“I knew that it was the lake because I had seen a lot of individuals before out here on the Jet Skis and it’s pretty dangerous,” he said on condition of anonymity. “There’s no navigational markers, obviously, you know there could be other under surface hazards that could be an issue. I know that they’ve been accessing the lake for quite some time now and it was just a matter of time before something tragic happened.”

He said further, “I just wanted to be able to give some insight as to the dangers of jet skiing out here, I mean, it’s not a typical lake where you should be jet skiing. With the pandemic and people trying to get outside and just do things, it’s just so sad that something tragic happened. It’s just so sad.”

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