Fish and wildlife police are asking for the public’s help in their investigation into what an Islamorada man was doing before his dead body was found floating in the Florida Bay on Friday afternoon.
Joseph Wilfred Cote, 68, was found shortly before 2 p.m. by boaters about 20 yards away from the 9-foot Aqua Cruiser dinghy he was operating near mile marker 85 in the Village of Islamorada.
Police do not suspect foul play, and there was no visible damage to the vessel, said Officer Bobby Dube, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the agency investigating Cote’s death.
“Did someone see him before he was found? Maybe he had a heart attack and fell out of the boat. If anyone knows anything, they can give us a call,” Dube said.
Cote lived on a boat moored in the bay behind the popular Ocean View Inn and Sports Pub on Windley Key, known locally as “the OV.”
The dinghy is registered to another person who lives in Miami-Dade County, according to a supplemental report released by the FWC. The agency is holding the vessel until the owner can be found.
Dube said anyone with information on Cote should call FWC investigators at (305) 289-2320.