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Man drowns in Manatee River

PALMETTO — The body of a man who apparently drowned was recovered from the Manatee River this morning, according to the Palmetto Police Department.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission law enforcement division was handling the investigation.

Gary Morse, spokesman for the commission, identified the man as Jerry Key, 66, of the 1600 block of 58th Avenue Drive West, Bradenton.

At about 11 a.m. today, workers at the marina saw the small dinghy sailboat about 600 feet off the dock and thought it looked strange and called the Palmetto Police Department, Morse said.

When deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office marine unit reached the boat, they found the man entangled in the lines of the boat. The victim was not wearing a life jacket.

“We’re not sure of the cause of death,” he said, “becuase he had a number of medical conditions that could have contributed to his death.”

The death is being called an accident until the Medical Examiner’s Office does an autopsy, Morse said.

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