Man drowns after falling off docked boat into Halifax River

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Halifax River

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A 59-year-old man drowned after falling off a docked boat and into the Halifax River Monday night, said Volusia County authorities.    

Gregory Beard, along with a friend, had their boats docked at the Adventure Yacht Harbor Marina in Wilbur-by-Sea.

Beard boarded his friend's boat, where the two proceeded to consume several mixed drinks, said authorities.

At some point, Beard decided to go back onto his boat. Beard climbed onto the dock and was leaning against a piling when a moment later, the other man said he heard a splash.

When the friend went to check it out, he saw Beard in the water splashing around next to the dock. The man said he was able to reach into the water and grab Beard's hand in an effort to guide him to a float behind Beard's boat.

However, the friend said Beard was too drunk to swim to the float.

The friend said he lost contact with Beard and tried to use a pole to keep him out of the water, but that did not work either.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office was notified, but when deputies arrived, Beard was face down in the water and already dead.

While there were no signs of foul play, the Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office said it will conduct an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.