FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Authorities have suspended the search for a missing boater, identified as Paul Taefi of Bonita Springs.
Earlier today, WINK News learned that the search off of Fort Myers Beach turned into a a recovery operation.
Investigators say Taefi was operating the boat when Wlodyka fell overboard; Taefi stopped the boat and jumped into the water to help Wlodyka but went missing himself. The individual who survived has been identified as Carl Michael Wlodyka also of Bonita Springs.
Taefi's friends are now conducting their own search, scouring the area on jet skis as they search for a sign of their missing friend. They took a few minutes to chat with WINK News, explaining that they're trying to keep their spirits up as they face the grim possibilities. Authorities say Taefi was not wearing a life jacket.
WINK News found out investigators no longer believe the boat hit a sandbar; authorities now believe alcohol was the primary factor in the accident. The accident happened Thursday night around 7 p.m. Witnesses called 9-1-1 after hearing "blood-curdling screams."
Wlodyka was able to make it to shore and is in the hospital recovering.
WINK News will bring you additional details as soon as they become available.