Man who died in boating accident near Palm Cay drowned, coroner’s jury hears

A man who died as a result of a boating accident near Palm Cay drowned, a coroner’s jury heard yesterday.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Kiko Bridgewater was testifying at a coroner’s inquest into the November 23, 2020 death of 59-year-old John Forsythe.

Acting Coroner Kara Turnquest-Deveaux and a five-member jury are investigating the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

Following a fishing trip, Forsythe and two others were returning to the Palm Cay marina when their vessel struck an object. The force of the impact threw the occupants overboard.

The 40-foot boat continued unmanned and it eventually ran aground on Yamacraw Shores and caught fire.

Forsythe’s dead body was pulled from the waters. The other occupants did not receive serious injuries.

Bridgewater said he observed foam and white froth in Forsythe’s nose and mouth, which are consistent with drowning.

The pathologist said Forsythe had two lacerations on his forearm that were unrelated to his death.

Bridgewater said the lacerations could have happened if Forysthe were fished out of the water with a hook. Forsythe could have also hit an object in the boat or in the sea, Bridgewater said.

Bridgewater said he did not observe any head injuries that could have rendered Forsythe unconscious.

The pathologist said he sent blood, urine, and vitreous humor samples to the police forensic lab for analysis. However, he said the report is not ready.

The inquest continues on February 2. Sergeant 260 Vernon Pyfrom marshaled the evidence and Ciji Smith-Curry represents Forsythe’s estate.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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