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The search for a missing South Florida man sadly ended Saturday night. The United States Coast Guard announced Sunday morning that it had located the body of 26-year-old Joustin Chavez.
Authorities said he was last seen boarding a boat Friday night at Miami Marine Stadium.
Several agencies, including the Miami-Dade Fire Department, Miami-Dade Police, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and City of Miami Fire crews, spent 23 hours searching for Chávez.
Chávez’s body was found in the waters north of the Rickenbacker Causeway at approximately 7 p.m. Saturday.
One of his friends, Víctor Camacho, spoke to 7News by phone. He said they did not know that he had disappeared until several hours after they left the stadium area.
“It wasn’t until possibly around 7 p.m. they couldn’t find him,” he said.
Camacho told people on board the ship exactly what happened, but they did not see Chávez for a while.
“Joustin must have gone from the front of the boat to the back of the boat, going over the side of a ledge on the boat, and then when he slipped,” Camacho said.
Camacho said Chávez knows how to swim, but he doesn’t think his friend was wearing a life jacket at the time.
As Coast Guard crews continue their search, Camacho said he hopes another boater will find his friend.
“One thing with Joustin is that he gets lost. I’ve seen him lost on occasion, ”he said. “If he doesn’t have his phone number, possibly or anything, he won’t be able to communicate with anyone.”
Speaking off-camera to 7News, Chávez’s sister said she hopes the Coast Guard can find her brother and that people who know something about her whereabouts will give her a clue. She said family members are concerned and were flying to Miami on Saturday night.