Cancer Alliance of Naples founder’s body discovered after paddleboarding accident

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FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – The body of 62-year-old Jerry Conti, one of the founding board members of the Cancer Alliance of Naples, was found in a massive search Saturday.

Crews desperately looked for Conti, who had been paddleboarding on Fort Myers Beach to celebrate his wife’s birthday. During the birthday activities, Conti had a heart attack and fell of his board. His wife lost sight of him, prompting a search and investigation led by Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Conti was not wearing a life jacket. FWC officials strongly recommend people use life jackets, but shied short of saying it would have had an impact in Conti’s case. They said Conti and his wife were not required to wear life jackets in the area where he went missing.

“They were operating in a swim area so they weren’t required to have life jackets on them, but despite that, we recommend that you have a life jacket worn why paddleboarding or on the vessel,” the official said. “Would it have saved him? We don’t know.”

Search crews desperately looked for the 62-year-old man and recovered his body using solar equipment Saturday.

“We had assets up. The Coast Guard had air assets up. Eventually the subject was found by Lee County SO using their sonar equipment,” am FWC official said.

Conti brought Relay For Life to Southwest Florida and was the owner of Sunbelt USA, Inc., a printing company in Naples.

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