By Tom Vaught
A Coast Guard helicopter
searches the Gulf off Anna Maria for the missing
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA A 17-year-old Tampa youth is dead following
a tragic incident during an outing in the Gulf off of Anna
According to Manatee County Sheriffs Sergeant John
Kenney, the Caesar Yaques was found in six- to eight-feet
of water about an hour after he was reported missing around
"I got the call and went to the scene, just north of
the Sandbar restaurant, with two other deputies," Kenney
said. "He was last seen on the water in a small (10-foot)
Kenney said it appeared that Yaques, who was with two other
males and four teenaged females, jumped from the boat.
"They all went out on the boat, then they returned,
dropped off the females and the males went back out,"
Kenney said. "Thats when the victim disappeared."
The other boys saw that Yaques was missing and went to the
police substation at Anna Maria City Hall. Kenney said he
called for a Coast Guard helicopter and a county marine
unit, and the helicopter spotted the victim floating in
the water between 500 and 700 yards from the shore.
"The helicopter dropped a buoy into the water,"
he said. "The marine unit then went to the location
and retrieved the victim. He was taken to the Coast Guard
station in Cortez."
Kenney said it appeared the teenagers took the boat from
the beach behind a residence near the Pine Avenue access.
The sheriffs office said an autopsy would be performed
Patsy Marlow, a tourist from Ireland, was on the beach when
the teenagers found out their companion was dead.
"The kids were just screaming," she said describing
their reaction. "They just kept yelling, My friend
The victims mother was called after the body was found
and she came to the Island to identify the body. Police
taped off the area of the beach, near the Pine Avenue access,
where the teens had left their equipment including a ball
cap, a football and the shoes the victim had worn to the
The last drowning off Anna Maria was was on June 2 of this
year when Antonio Natalie, 83, of Anna Maria, was found
floating in the water near the city pier. It was determined
that Natalie, who lived alone on Oak Street, had suffered
a heart attack while swimming.