Monday, March 18, a Sheriff's Office Marine Unit deputy found 67-year-old Mario Hudson floating face-down near the Stuart Causeway in Florida’s St. Lucie Inlet. Hudson and a friend rented standup paddleboards earlier in the day from an unknown vendor and became separated before the friend realized Hudson was missing. The friend contacted authorities and the body was found around 1 p.m.
Conditions were not favorable, with 25-30 mph winds, though it is unknown if that played any role in Hudson’s death. No trauma was found on the body and foul play is not suspected. Though St. Lucie Inlet requires PFD’s on all vessels- including SUPs- one was not found.
SUP magazine encourages all paddlers to practice SUP safety, which includes using the buddy system, knowing the conditions and area before paddling, and being prepared with the appropriate gear.