PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WALA) - According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Kerry Vermillion was one of four people who went into the Gulf on a 26 foot Chaparral boat.
Officials say Vermillion and the others came back into the Santa Rosa Sound and anchored in the water just off the Portofino Condominiums. That’s when officials say all four entered the water.
Sometime later, officials say the three other people climbed back aboard the boat believing Vermillion had as well. When they couldn’t find him, they got back in the water and began searching.
Officials say when they couldn’t find him, they called 911.
According to the FWC, the Coast Guard as well as FWC officials and Escambia Search and Rescue responded and promptly began searching Friday evening.
The search lasted until Saturday and was suspended at sundown.
Officials began searching again on Sunday. A boat in the sound spotted Vermillion’s body just before noon.
Those closest to Vermillion at Baptist Hospital say the situation is especially shocking considering he was regularly participating in athletic activities including triathlons.
Mark Faulkner, president and CEO of Baptist Health Care, released this statement yesterday following the news.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Kerry Vermillion, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Baptist Health Care, is the victim of a drowning accident that occurred on Friday evening.
Kerry Vermillion’s dedication to this organization and our community serves as a great example for what it means to be a remarkable person, as well as a great leader. He was a dear friend and respected colleague. We ask the community to join the Baptist Team in keeping Kerry's family in thoughts and prayers."
Investigators say an autopsy will be done by the medical examiner to determine cause of death.
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