Last Updated: 1:41 p.m.
Two Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation divers found and recovered the body of 18-year-old Ritchy Volmar just after noon today (Feb. 25) in the waters of the Intracoastal not far from Bings Landing in the Hammock. His family was informed soon afterward.
Authorities had been searching for Volmar since shortly after his friend called 911 Wednesday afternoon, before 3 p.m., to report that they’d been jet skiing together until Volmar fell off and was lost to sight. His friend attempted to find him, but unsuccessfully. The report triggered a nearly 24-hour search that involved the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, fire rescue teams, FWC and the county’s emergency helicopter.
Volmar’s body was found at 12:47 p.m., a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesperson said, “in the Intracoastal by the northern trails.”
Volmar had previously been a student at Flagler Palm Coast High School.
The previous story is below.
Search Ongoing for 18 Year Old Who Fell Off Jet Ski in Intracoastal Near Bings Landing
Local and state authorities have been searching for an 18-year-old man, a Flagler County resident, since mid-afternoon Wednesday after he fell off his jet ski in the Intracoastal near Bings Landing.
After suspending the search around 9 p.m. Wednesday, the search resumed this morning, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s officers in the lead.
The man, known as “Ritchy,” was jet-skiing with a friend. “He fell off with the jet ski and the friend called us to let us know his friend fell off and he had been looking for him,” a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesperson said. Ritchy is a swimmer, but he was not wearing a life jacket, leading authorities to fear that he may have hurt himself when he fell.
The first call to 911 came in at 2:34 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office dispatched its marine unit and contacted FWC. Soon, St. Johns County’s marine unit joined the search with sonar equipment. The center of the activity was in the area of Bings Landing, the county park, and the Hammock Dunes toll bridge. Fire Flight, the county’s emergency helicopter, joined the search. Flagler County Fire Rescue personnel staged at the park.
“The Coast Guard was notified and given a description just in case they were able to locate anyone,” the spokesperson said. But the search into the night was fruitless. “We’re out there, we have our dive team on standby, we have our marine unit out there,” the sheriff’s spokesperson said.
Chad Weber, an FWC officer, said this morning “we’re still actively searching.”
The Sheriff’s Office signaled its operation to the public on its Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon, asking the public to avoid the area. The posting generated hundreds of replies by residents praying for the young man’s safe return and his family.
Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter seen here in a previous training exercise at Bings Landing, was involved in the search for the 18-year-old man who fell off his jet ski near Bings Wednesday afternoon. (© FlaglerLive)
Summer W says
Love you lil bro❤️❤️🙏
May his memory be a blessing to those who knew and loved him.
The boys are heart broken of losing you, I pray your soul is at rest with your ancestors. GOD please watch over his family and true friends and bless them with peace.
The lesson to be learned here, is to wear a PFD. While it may not ensure that anyone wouldn’t have drowned, but in this case, perhaps he might’ve been saved or found sooner.
Willy James says
This appears to be death that did not need to happen. Why did this young man not have a life vest on? This is required by state law when using a jet ski! It would seem to me that the driver of the jet ski is in a culpable position,
Cindy H says
Such a tragedy to such a young handsome man. Family and friends, I am so sorry for your loss.
RIP. Accidents happen and surely his friend feels horrible.
Many condolences to his family and friends. Having spent a lifetime on the ocean working, folks, please, put on a PFD. The smallest accident, can turn into a travesty like this. The law states you have to wear a PFD for a reason, please please people, a quick snap of a couple buckles can save a life. Rest in peace Ritchy.
PC Mom says
I imagine that Willy James and Jimbo99 must have forgotten what it was like to be a teenager!!! Unless you lived in a bubble or had no life at all… we have all done things that we look back it and thought…. wow maybe I should have.. could have… should have.. and thanked God we made it to today. Alive!!! So instead of pointing out what his mom is wishing he had done on a public forum…. how about just saying… God rest his soul!!!
Gina Weiss says
PC mom: You are so right in your comment and may God rest his beautiful soul. Enough of the Monday morning quarterback comments!
John Stove says
Of course we all feel extremely horrible for a young life lost and wish his family didn’t have to go thru this. When we were young we too were told to “dont do that or this will happen to you…” I remember being told not to hold M-80 firecrackers in my hand because that is how “Johnny down the street lost his fingers”.
Adutls, parents, educators, friends AND Law Enforcements role is to use these types of tragedy’s as a teaching moment for other people. If we can prevent this from happening again then as a society we have accomplished something.
Of course I remember what being a teenager was like, I grew up in the 1970’s (Ormond/Daytona Beaches), we drank out of garden hoses, did other stupid things, but operating a PWC or ATV on waterways & roads illegally wasn’t one that Mom & Dad ever empowered. Yo would be surprised how many parents & kids in Flagler county don’t make their children obey laws. Flagler is no longer that small remote community it was 50 years back. Remember the kid that died on the motorcycle, one of them was helmet-less & was a minor. The sooner we stop empowering this nonsense of ignoring the laws. End of the day here, there’s nothing I can do about this beyond point out the obvious, because let’s face it, there’s bound to be another that can’t connect the dots. If you can’t operate these type of vehicles to the financial responsibility & safety legislation, that PWC never gets launched into the waterway. Lack of enough PFD’s for the capacity of the PWC ends the session before it leaves the garage or the dock. Here are some general guidelines. If a business is bound to enforce them for a rental, any family needs to conduct themselves with the same level of diligence. I don’t make the rules, only have to live by them.
Here’s more on how to be a accountable & responsible.
Carol Gunthorpe says
watch over us baby boy. you was so young, still so much of life left. we will all live through you. protect us all. deepest condolences to you family and close friends. you’ll be remember for life richy. never ever forgotten. you w Curt & Neo now 👼🏼 we love you. and until we meet again.
LOVE and PEACE
Jet ski rider says
So very sad but the driver should have obeyed the laws of operating a jet ski.hard lesson learned there may this young man RIP
PC Mom: AGREED.
For everyone else: Please. Do not turn this tragedy into some sort of rant or grandstand about behavior or actions. Ritchy was a sweet young man who has been part of our Flagler Schools family since 2nd grade. I had the pleasure of having him as one of my ‘kids’. May he rest in peace and his family find comfort in his memory, and instead of cry, eventually smile when they think of him. Rest peacefully sweet boy…
This doesn’t feel real.. just two days ago you told me you’d see me in a hour then I got that call..💔 I can’t believe your gone I’ll never forget you rich I love you forever #LLR💔🇭🇹
Trailer Bob says
Rest in Peace son. Ny condolences to the family and friends of this young man.
I don’t care who you are, or how prepared you feel, even the best swimmers have died in the past by way of H2O.
I was a boater for many, many years, and I always wore a jacket when out in the ocean, lakes or river.
We cannot bring this young man back, but we should learn a lesson for the price he paid.
So sorry this happened.
My heart goes out to his family. NO parent should have to endure the tragedy of losing a child regardless of the situation. So sorry for your loss.