Family found missing boater in Fla. keys |

Family found missing boater in Fla. keys

John Colson
Vail, CO Colorado

DUCK KEY, Fla. ” The family of missing Aspen boater Christopher Smith found his body floating offshore Thursday afternoon.

The family had been continuing to search for Christopher Smith, missing for three days, after the official search was called off earlier Thursday.

Smith’s three children from a previous marriage, all of whom are young adults, flew down to Florida earlier this week with his wife, Toni Zurcher, and family friends Peter and Shari Hutter, to help with the search effort. All that group was together when they found the body not far from where the boat had drifted.

Smith, 57, was a longtime Aspenite and the former owner of Aspen Earthmoving, where he continued to work in an advisory capacity.

News reports indicated Zurcher had talked with her husband on Monday, June 25, and that Smith’s 20-foot Boston Whaler was expected back in port Monday evening but did not show up.

The boat reportedly was idling and drifting Tuesday morning in shallow water a few miles north of Long Key, which is about midway along the 110-mile chain of islands.

It was not damaged, according to the Coast Guard. Smith’s vehicle was found on Wednesday, parked at the nearby Seabird Marina.

The Coast Guard conducted a search that lasted more than 48 hours and covered more than 1,590 square miles near Long Key and throughout Florida Bay, the body of water north of the Keys and west of the Florida mainland.

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