Family identifies man in fatal boating accident in Pine Island Sound

Published: Updated:
Johnny Messer. (Credit: Messer family)

A father of two drowns after falling off a boat and puncturing his lung in Pine Island Sound Wednesday.

Johnny Messer was on a boat with several people on his way to Cayo Costa for work when they hit the wake of another boat, causing Messer to fall overboard.

A friend on the boat jumped into the water to search for him.

Family says a propeller punctured his lung, and by the time the friend got to Messer, he had drowned.

Jeff Scott, Messer’s uncle, says, “They’re still doing the investigation. From what I hear they were in a small 17-foot boat, flat-bottom boat, and they got washed out by another boat. It spun their boat around, which threw everybody and my nephew got thrown off, Johnny got thrown off the boat, and was hit by the prop and didn’t make it.”

Messer worked for Island Cleaning and Maintenance and had a job on the island, which is only accessible by boat.

The boat is now at Pineland Marina where the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.

“Johnny is amazing. There’s only one Johnny R Messer. And a heart as big as gold. He’s give his shirt off his back….when he wore a shirt!” Scott said. “I’m going to miss him. This island is going to miss him. The community is going to miss him.”

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