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Deceased FL - Orlando Ortiz & Jeffrey Marrero, missing from a boat on Lake Eloise; Mar 2023


Right On!
I don’t usually give more than a second glance to boating accidents, but the circumstances of this one just got to me… We’re likely looking at recovery by now, too.

Rather than me summarizing, read this:

Judd described what began as an “afternoon of pleasure on the water” for Velcky Velasquez, 38, and her boyfriend Orlando Ortiz, 32 — who were celebrating their one-year anniversary — a friend of theirs named Jeffrey Marrero and his two daughters, ages 8 and 10. Judd said the group of five had rented a 16-foot boat and taken it out on the lake during choppy conditions.

“It is a rough day on the water, the wind’s blowing about 20 miles an hour, there’s a two-foot chop with white caps and it’s a breezy afternoon,” Judd said. “They decide, however, that they’ll anchor out in the middle of Lake Eloise.

That anchor was not tied to the boat, in what Judd attributed to Velasquez’s lack of boating experience as she tried to drop it.

“So, she thinks you have to get into the water, put the anchor in and then tie it to the boat. Immediately, the engine’s off and the boat starts to float away. At that point in time they see she is struggling, so the two gentlemen jump into the lake in order to save her, and when they jump into the lake, then the boat is continuing to move away, so they start to swim toward the boat,” Judd said.

Velasquez reported seeing Ortiz and Marrero struggling, herself opting to float on her back until help arrived. Meanwhile in the boat, the 10-year-old girl dialed 911, according to Judd.

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