Family devastated after losing grandfather in Myakka River boating accident

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Officials have released the identity of the boater whose body was found after his boat capsized in the Myakka River Thursday.

Florida Fish and Wildlife said Sheldon S. Young, 54, of Port Charlotte, Florida died after the boat he was in with two children capsized Thursday around 10:30 a.m.

One of the children was the man's grandchild and the other was a friend of his grandchild.

Crews from multiple agencies searched for Young for most of the day. His body was recovered at 5:30 p.m. the same day.

Young’s daughter Donna Escort-Hornes said her dad just moved down to Florida a few months ago, so she was looking forward to spending more time with him. Young, who was known as Scott, never let a day go by without three little words.

“He was a loving person. He was sweet, and every day he told his family ‘I love you,’” said Escort-Hornes. “I wish I just had one more moment with him, just one more hug. I can’t do that.”

The search began after another boater found the two children on a sandbar, near the Myakka State Forrest close to North Port, and called 911. Deputies from both Sarasota and Charlotte counties assisted in the search.

When the boat overturned, the children had on life jackets but Young did not.

“He didn’t have it on at all, and I feel like if he would have had that life jacket on, I wouldn’t be doing this right now,” said Escort-Hornes.

She said her father made sure the children were safe on the boat.

While she struggles to deal with an incredible heartbreak, she said she just found a sympathy card that belonged to her father.

“My son gave it to my daughter, and she brought it to me. And I’m thinking it’s a card like somebody probably wrote the condolences for me for my dad. But no, it was a card wrote for my dad for his mom,” said Escort-Hornes.

She feels it is a sign that her dad is now resting with his mom.

“It was wet a little, but it was not wet outside. So, I feel like he came back in the form of a card,” said Escort-Hornes.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.

A previous version of this story stated both children were Young's grandchildren.