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Boater still missing after boat capsizes near Buckman Bridge

The boat has been recovered but the boater is still missing as of Thursday afternoon, according to first responders.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A boater is missing after the boat struck the Buckman Bridge and capsized Wednesday evening, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. 

JFRD said the boater was going at a fast speed when the boat struck the bridge. Witnesses said the boater was not wearing a life vest. 

The boat has been recovered, but the driver is still reported missing as of Thursday afternoon, according to first responders. 

JFRD said it was towing the boat to NAS Jacksonville so it could be searched in case the boater was still inside, such as trapped in an air hole. 

JFRD said the design of the boat made it difficult to get to NAS Jacksonville, so it was tied to a mooring buoy while divers continued to look for any sign of the person. 

On Thursday morning, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sent First Coast News the following statement:

"On Wednesday, Sept. 30, at approximately 4:40 p.m., a single vessel incident occurred on the north side of the Buckman Bridge located on the St. Johns River. Upon FWC and JFRD arrival, the vessel was located capsized and drifting north of the Buckman Bridge. No occupants were found on board or near the vessel. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the FWC Dive Team responded to the scene. JSO and FWC dive teams are attempting to use side sonar near the accident scene under the Buckman Bridge to locate the victim. The incident is being investigated by the FWC Investigations Section and JSO."

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