POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Polk County teenager died overnight after deputies say he fell while riding a jet-ski in a local lake.
Polk County deputies responded to Lake Clinch in Frostproof just before 8:30 p.m. Sunday for reports of a boating accident
Deputies say the driver of the jet-ski, identified as 17-year-old Jose Torres, made an abrupt turn, throwing him and his 15-year-old passenger into the water.
According to the sheriff’s office, the passenger was wearing a life jacket and was able to swim back to the jet-ski, but couldn’t find Torres.
The Frostproof Fire Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also responded to search for Torres.
With the help of an underwater drone, deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit and Underwater Search and Recovery Team found Torres’ body just after midnight in approximately 20 feet of water. He was not wearing a life jacket.
Deputies say Torres appears to have drowned, but it will be up to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the exact cause of death.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jose’s family and loved ones,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “This is a tragic accident and a stark reminder that life jackets save lives. Please, when out on the water, wear a life jacket.”
Torres was a student at Ridge Technical College.
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