PALMETTO, Fla. (FOX 13) - A 3-year-old child who drowned in the waters off Manatee County was not wearing a life jacket when the kayak he was in capsized Saturday night, investigators said.
The little boy was one of four people who were on a kayak that capsized as they were returning to a dock near Emerson Point on Snead Island.
Two adults and one child who were on the boat were rescued from the water, but the little boy was missing.
Manatee County deputies, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Coast Guard crews began searching for the toddler around 8 p.m.
The boy's body was found around 11:45 p.m.
"No one on board was wearing a life jacket," said Ashley Tyer with FWC. "We absolutely stress the importance of wearing life jackets, not only having a proper fitting one on board for each individual but actually wearing it because life jackets do save lives."
Kayakers like Sibyl Graham and her husband say they always wear life jackets and prepare for any possible issues on the water.
"My husband has a whistle on his life jacket. We have a little blow horn. We bring our water and a little food and stuff in case we are not able to come back in time in case we have some to nourish us," Graham said.
"God will help them deal with this loss because I can't even imagine how I would feel if it was my grandson," neighbor Sue Orgeron said.
The accident is under investigation.