Florida fisherman looking for tarpon gets close-up look at manatee at Crab Island near Destin.

DESTIN — One local fisherman got his first up-close manatee encounter Wednesday while heading out to East Pass.

Rob Carrizales said he was boating on the water near the Marler Bridge at Crab Island about 8 a.m. when he saw some water break, but didn't see a fin.

"Thought it may be a manatee, so we turned around and checked it out," Carrizales said. "The manatee was moving very quickly toward the Coast Guard station."

Carrizales, who was planning to go fishing for tarpon, said he took videos and photos of the manatee for a few minutes. Although he had seen a few manatees from the beach before, this was his first time seeing one up close, he said.

"It came right across our bow and continued on its way," Carrizales said. "At that point, we didn't want to bother it anymore and let it move on. It was a very cool encounter."

 

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