LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Late Monday morning a man launching his boat near the Sanibel Causeway made a gruesome discovery -- a body floating near the Punta Rassa boat ramp. The victim has been identified as Philip Schweers, 45, of Fort Myers.
"Fish and Wildlife sent a couple of boats out and they were able to get the body out of the water," said Tony Schall of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The area was soon crowded with law enforcement and onlookers wondering what was happening.
"I pretty much knew what was going on when I saw a tarp being thrown over it looked... over the dock which I pretty much knew it was a body," said one onlooker.
The examination by EMTs suggested the man had drowned. But officials say until the coroner determines what killed him, it's too soon to tell how he ended up in the water or how long the body has been there.
"We have an investigator with major crimes on the scene so we're going to be looking into exactly how this happened. The medical examiner will have to determine the cause of death," Schall continued.
Authorities are waiting to release the man's identity until next of kin has been notified. But at least one friend, his roommate, was on the scene within minutes of the discovery.
"The victim's friend was very distraught. I offered him something to drink and they kept him here for quite a while," the onlooker continued.
Sheriff's deputies scoured the area for abandoned boats, thinking maybe the man fell into the water. That's something fishermen who frequent the area say wouldn't be surprising.
"A lot of people get in accidents, people fall over board, rough weather like we're experiencing now can cause people to fall overboard or off the seawall," one fisherman said.