Body of missing barge worker pulled from water

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Officials said the body of a barge worker who was missing in a canal just west of the Banana River was recovered Saturday afternoon.

Shaun Cheney, 25, was believed to have fallen off a barge and into a canal near Dover Avenue on Merritt Island on Friday. Dive crews searched the water around the barge for hours Friday and continued their search on Saturday morning.

According to officials, Cheney's body was found in the water shortly after noon Saturday. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Authorities said Cheney was on a Beyel Brothers barge with his co-workers when someone noticed he was gone around 10 a.m. Friday. No one could account for his whereabouts and they feared he fell overboard, officials said.

Richard White is Cheney's former co-worker and one of the many people who gathered along the bank of the barge canal during the search on Friday.

"There's always a chance of having an accident, but safety is always a top priority with any boat, any trip. On a barge you're always trying to be safe," White said.

A relative said Cheney had been around boats his whole life and has worked on a barge for the past three years.

Brevard County authorities said they are still investigating the incident.