Curtis Lee Cowling

Tampa Police Recover Boat Captain’s Body From Submerged Vessel

Curtis Lee Cowling Tampa
Curtis Lee Cowling (TPD)

TAMPA. Fla. – The Tampa Police Department has confirmed that the body recovered from the submerged vessel was the missing boat captain Curtis Lee Cowling. The cause of death is still being investigated; however, there are no signs of foul play.

On Sunday, at 10:28 P.M., divers with the Tampa Police Department located and recovered the man’s body on board the submerged vessel.

“Although our Dive Team members, joined by multiple agencies, all worked tirelessly in their efforts, we now share in the sorrow of this tragic outcome,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “Our thoughts and concerns are with the family and friends of Captain Cowling during this difficult time.”

Early Sunday morning, the Tampa Police Department received multiple reports of a shrimp boat being submerged underwater.

Read: Tampa Police Warn Drivers Of Flooded Roadways After Overnight Rainfall

Tampa Officers arrived on scene and located a 63 ft vessel named “Miss Jordi”, underwater. The vessel also leaked thousands of gallons of diesel fuel into the water.

The boat’s captain, Curtis Lee Cowling, was last seen on 12/16/2023 at 11:00 p.m. Cowling was listed as “Missing and Endangered”.

Officials were initially unable to confirm the captain’s whereabouts. Due to the amount of diesel fuel contaminating the water, the incident was being treated as a HAZMAT scene, preventing dive teams from entering the water.

The United States Coast Guard lead the HAZMAT efforts.

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