Body found on shore of Navarre Beach

The identity of the man that washed up on the shore of Navarre Beach Wednesday night is that of missing swimmer Jay Wiley Evans.

Navarre Beach Fire Department Chief Mike Howard said his department received a call at 7:43 p.m. Wednesday evening that a body washed up on the shore behind Caribbean Resort on Navarre Beach.

Howard was out on the beach until after midnight as were members of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department.

Detectives from the sheriff’s major crimes unit were dispatched to the scene along with members of the crime scene unit. After processing the scene, the state medical examiner’s office transported Evans to an area hospital.

The search for Evans, who went missing Tuesday evening near Opal Beach began that same night and the Navarre Beach Fire Department got involved with it at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The search for the 65-year-old Navarre resident ended around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Coast Guard Station Pensacola and it’s 45-foot response boat was involved in the search as well as two helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans. The Coast Guard Cutter Cobia, Fixed Wing Casa aircraft and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers.

Howard said the scene over the last couple of days is one that is familiar.

“We’ve seen it several times. People don’t pay attention to the flags,” Howard said. “I don’t care how good of a swimmer you are, all it takes is getting caught once in a rip current and this situation happens.”


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