The body of a missing boater who vanished Monday after rescuing a child struggling in the water was found Wednesday afternoon just west of the Johnson Keys.
Brian Kowalski, 39, of Trinity, Fla., jumped off a 22-foot boat Monday afternoon on the Gulf side of Scout Key to assist the child, but began experiencing difficulty as he was helping the child back to the boat. The child was OK, but others on the boat lost sight of Kowalski, said Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin.
Kowalski's body was spotted about noon Wednesday from a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission airplane, said FWC spokesman Bobby Dube and Coast Guard Sector Key West Ensign Peter Bermont.
The Johnson Keys are off Mile Marker 38 near Little Pine Key, about seven miles north-northwest of Scout Key.
FWC officers, Monroe County Sheriff's Office detectives and the county medical examiner's staff retrieved the remains, Dube said.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death, but Major Crimes Detective Many Cuervo said it appeared to be from accidental or natural causes.
Coast Guard boats and airplanes from Key West, Miami and Clearwater, as well as a Navy helicopter from Naval Air Station Key West and FWC boats and planes, took part in the search.