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Elderly couple, both 76, accidentally drowned while fishing and another boater found

Elderly couple, both 76, accidentally drown while fishing before their bodies are discovered floating in weeds by another boater who noticed their 15-foot boat adrift in the swamp

  • Archer James Adams III, 76, and Paula Adams, 76 both died from accidental drowning 
  • They were found ‘floating in the weeds’ at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach, Florida
  • They were found near a boat, though it’s not immediately clear if it belonged to them
  • They lived in the  Boca Raton area and were retired for at least two decades
  • An investigation into their deaths is ongoing and being led by the FWC 

An elderly couple was found ‘floating in the weeds’ after a boat they were fishing in was discovered in a Florida swamp.

Archer James Adams III, 76, and Paula Adams, 76, both died from accidental drowning, according to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

The office added that additional details surrounding their death are still a mystery, the Sun Sentinel reports. 

The couple’s empty 15-ft Gheenoe boat was found by a passer-by boater on Saturday, who found the vessel while at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County. 

The passer-by then discovered the couple’s bodies and called for help, according to the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department. 

The bodies of the Boca Raton couple were reportedly found floating in the water on Saturday morning at the south end of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, located in Palm Beach County.

One neighbor told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the couple owned a small boat, though it wasn’t immediately clear if that was the same boat they were found near.

The bodies of Archer James Adams III, 76, and Paula Adams, 76 were found at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday morning

The couple was found floating near a boat in the Hillsboro Canal, near the bottom of the refuge

The couple was found floating near a boat in the Hillsboro Canal, near the bottom of the refuge

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is almost 150,000 acres wide

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is almost 150,000 acres wide

The Palm Beach Post adds that the bodies were specifically found in the Hillsboro Canal, at the bottom end of the refuge. 

Another neighbor, Jorge Alvarez, told the Sun Sentinel that the couple were often seen together in the neighborhood walking their dog and that they’ve been retired for around two decades.

Alvarez also mentioned that the couple had an adult daughter and said they were always friendly to interact with.

A woman who answered the door to the couple’s home – which they had owned since 1995 – on Sunday declined to provide comment to the Sun Sentinel.

The investigation will be led by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with assistance from deputies in Palm Beach County and Broward County.

‘The FWC…will provide additional details as they become available,’ Susan Neel, communications director for the FWC, told the Sun Sentinel.

‘Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Adams during this difficult time.’

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is nearly 150,000 acres wide and was established in 1951 under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.

The refuge boasts of over 250 bird species and over 20 different types of mammals that live there during the year. 

In the past, the refuge has sustained damage from hurricanes that have impacted the region. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

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