Fort Lauderdale

Body of Man Missing After Haulover Inlet Boat Crash Found, Driver Detained

U.S. Coast Guard officials confirmed the body of 27-year-old Zach Forte, who was ejected from the boat when it crashed, was found

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The body of a man who was thrown from a boat when it crashed near Haulover Inlet early Thursday has been recovered, while a man who was apparently the driver of that boat was detained early Friday after barricading himself for hours.

Dean Sealey, 53, barricaded himself inside a damaged boat for hours before he was taken into custody around 3 a.m. near Serafina Italian Restaurant off Northeast 20th Avenue. Fort Lauderdale police officers had blocked off the street in front of the restaurant late Thursday night.

"We were told we had to leave the building and quietly go out the back because something was going on at the backside of the restaurant," one diner said.

NBC 6 confirmed Sealey was the apparent driver of the boat from the crash near Haulover Inlet. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and then was later released. NBC 6 also learned Sealey has an outstanding warrant from 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona, for DUI and possessing narcotics.

Just hours before the man was taken into custody, U.S. Coast Guard officials found the body of 27-year-old Zach Forte near Haulover Inlet.

Forte was one of two people who were ejected from a boat when it hit a channel marker or ran up on a sandbar around 2 a.m. Thursday near the inlet.

A woman had been found wading in shallow water nearby. The third person was the driver and was believed to still be on the boat, according to Coast Guard officials.

Workers at the nearby Haulover Marine Center said they saw the woman as she was recused from the water.

"I walked out and asked her if she wanted anything, she said 'no the Coast Guard took care of me' and I said 'okay,'" one woman said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said they were also part of the search and investigation.

"We will continue to release additional details as they become available. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time," FWC officials said in a statement Friday.

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