BOCA CIEGA BAY — Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Boca Ciega Bay about 1:08 p.m. Nov. 7 after a body was found floating near Intracoastal Waterway Marker #28.
According to deputies, a small boat that had capsized was found about 12:15 p.m. that day and reported to Gulfport police. About an hour later, a body of a man was found floating nearby.
The man was identified as Matthew Richard Eelman, 64, of Gainesville.
Deputies say Eelman was last seen leaving a friend’s vessel about 1 a.m. They say Eelman, who had been drinking, was described as showing signs of impairment when he got into his small boat to return to his live-aboard sailboat located nearby.
Deputies say the death appears to be accidental and not suspicious in nature.