MEXICO BEACH-- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials are investigating after a Pensacola man's body washed up near Fort Pickens and his boat ended up miles away in Mexico Beach.
Todd Wooley's body was found late Friday night. "His body was discovered by passer-by's. It came ashore Friday night going into Saturday morning," said Stan Kirkland, with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
Wooley, a Pensacola native, was out fishing on his 26 foot boat when officials said he went to the back of the vessel and apparently fell over into the water. Kirkland said, "There is absolutely no damage to the boat. The only thing noteworthy was the gate on the back was open. It gave the appearance that he had walked back there and opened that gate for some reason and we presume that's what lead to him going overboard."
A call eight hours later at 8:00 Saturday morning helped move the investigation forward. A turtle watch volunteer near Crooked Island at the east end of Tyndall Air Force Base spotted a boat on its side. "It [the boat] had come just about 100 miles before it came ashore right on Tyndall. The key was still turned on, the plotter was still working on the boat, the stereo was still on," he said.
After a quick search, FWC officers found out the boat was registered to Wooley. Kirkland said, "Little did we know his body was found a just a few hours prior to that over on Fort Pickens."
Now, investigators are trying to figure out why he went to the back of the boat in the first place. He explained, "For some reason he had gone to the back of the boat; perhaps to check out something. We don't know what caused him to go overboard."
Officials said they don't believe foul play was involved. The boat has been impounded. Officials are waiting on results from the Corner's Office for an exact cause of death.