Body of missing paddle boarder found near Pensacola


PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – The body of a missing paddle boarder was found Tuesday morning after two days of searching near Pensacola, Fla.

26-year-old Marc Nestenius was found near the Bob Sykes Bridge near the Gulf Breeze community, according to law enforcement and the mother of Nestenius.  We spoke to Rosalie Nestenius via phone.

“I’m the mother so it’s hard for me to say anything, but anyone you will interview will tell you he was the perfect child. No problem at all,” said Marc’s mother Rosalie Nestenius. She describes her 26-year-old son as a driven young man who was highly educated, spoke four languages and always wanted to work in the oil industry. Rosalie said her son had a knack for organization.

“He color coded files, his clothes were also color coded, very organized, took notes all the time,” said Rosalie. She said Marc had arrived in Pensacola Beach late Saturday night to be a part of a small family reunion. He lived in London full time and just got a job to move to Paris.

“It was a very happy reunion for us, we see each other often, four to five times a year but he was so excited,” said Rosalie. She said Marc started the day Sunday on the beach surfing with his sister. After lunch, Marc told his mom he was going to go paddle boarding.

“I paddle boarded in the morning so I knew the winds were rough and I told him about it and said ‘OK mom’ and he’s a very responsible kid, I mean extremely responsible so I had no worries about that,” said Rosalie. The day took a turn when she got a phone call saying her son’s paddle board was found by jet skiers in the Santa Rosa Sound.

“Something’s very wrong, something’s very wrong and I hoped he was able to get to his life vest,” said Rosalie. She said Marc Nestenius was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. It was hard for her to say what his best quality was because he seems to excel at many things.

“He was good overall! He was excellent overall! This child never gave me problems, never ever gave me problems,” said Rosalie. “As a child we had friends who would request for him to spend the night over their place so he could be a good influence to their son, he was that kind of kid.”

Nestenius disappeared Sunday in Little Sabine Bay after leaving his home to go paddleboarding. Sunday afternoon, a man riding a jet ski found his paddle boarder and life jacket which prompted the multi-agency search.

Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Escambia Search and Rescue, and other agencies participated in the search.

A law enforcement official urged all people to practice water safety and wear a life jacket this weekend while at the beach.

News Five will have more on the discovery and thoughts from Nestenius’ mother today at Noon.

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