UPDATE: 5:50 p.m. The Florida Wildlife Commission confirmed they recovered 4-year-old Logan Fontana’s body about two hours ago. He was found in the waters not too far south of the Coast Guard station in Pensacola. Family has been notified.
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The search for 4 year old Logan Fontana shifted Monday from a rescue operation to recovery. The little boy has been missing since 3:30 Saturday when he fell from a 20 foot boat near Fort Pickens in Pensacola Bay. The child and his grandfather were returning home from a fishing trip. The grandfather told authorities the boy took off his life vest.
“He took it off because it had sand in it, and it was uncomfortable to him. So he handed it to his grandfather. The grandfather poured water on it and washed it out and handed the life jacket back to Logan, and told him to put the life jacket back on and take a seat,” Lt. Doug Berryman said.
Lt. Berryman, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife said that’s when the grandfather turned his attention to the boat traffic.
“The grandfather was looking at the boat traffic trying to find a space to go. He had picked up speed from idle to 10 miles an hour which is still very slow, and he turned around to check on the grandson before he actually put throttle to the engines, and the grandson was gone,” he said.
Berryman was surprised by the turnout Monday morning.
“We had 11 boats out yesterday, and we were expecting 5 today, at the moment I think we have about 15 boats out today,” Berryman said.
Nine agencies from Florida and Alabama are taking part in the effort.
“It touches you here,” volunteer Michael Leggitte said.
Leggitte was out on the water early Monday morning.
“When we first got out it wasn’t many boats, and it wasn’t really choppy, but now there’s a lot of boats running back and forth and it’s choppy and you have to be careful,” Leggitte said.
Most of the boats involved in the search Monday were equipped with sonar, but Berryman said they were challenged by the current and other underwater factors.
“We’re all committed to finding this little boy and returning him to his family,” Berryman said.
The searchers are hoping that happens soon.
Berryman says the recovery operation will start to scale back tomorrow.