UPDATE: Missing Davenport boater's body recovered

2013-03-27T15:15:00Z 2013-03-27T15:28:05Z UPDATE: Missing Davenport boater's body recoveredBy DOUG SCHORPP,Courier Lee News Service and wire Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

DAVENPORT, Iowa --- The body of Mark Polaschek of Davenport, who had been missing offshore of Key Largo, Fla., has been recovered and identified, Monroe County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin reported today.

The body was found Monday afternoon by the U.S. Coast Guard offshore of Key Largo. His identity was confirmed today by the medical examiner’s office, using dental records, Herrin said.

The 49-year-old went missing Friday after going out on a solo trip on his sailboat. He, his wife and 6-year-old son were in the Florida Keys on vacation, staying in Key Largo. His boat was found Saturday offshore of the 113-mile marker of the highway, on the gulf side.

“It is unclear what happened to Polaschek,” Herrin said. “However, detectives say they found no obvious signs of foul play on board the vessel.

“Detectives and the medical examiner continue to investigate in an attempt to determine the cause of his death. The sheriff’s office is working on the case cooperatively with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.”

Polaschek was a Davenport financial adviser and former owner of Hunter’s Club in downtown Rock Island.

Sheriff’s officials have said his wife, Karla, told them he wasn’t an experienced boater but insisted on going out on their sailboat. When he didn’t return six hours later, she reported him missing to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Karla Polaschek told deputies she didn’t like boating with him because she was afraid of his “lack of boating skills.”

Ray McDevitt, a real estate agent with Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, is a former partner with Polaschek in Hunter’s Club, a famed local pub known for having one of the best hamburgers in the area. He said Monday that like everyone else, he does not know what happened.

EARLIER STORY

KEY LARGO, Fla. --- A Davenport man who is missing following a boating trip in the Florida Keys is a Davenport financial adviser and former owner of Hunter’s Club in downtown Rock Island.

Monroe County (Fla.) Sheriff’s officials say 49-year-old Mark Polaschek didn’t return Friday from a sailboat trip off Key Largo.

Sheriff’s officials say the man’s wife told them he wasn’t an experienced boater but insisted on going out on their sailboat. When he didn’t show up six hours later, she reported him missing to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The boat was found the next morning. Authorities said there were no obvious signs of foul play onboard. Polaschek’s wife told deputies she didn’t like boating with him because she was afraid of his “lack of boating skills.”

The couple and their 6-year-old son were vacationing in Key Largo.

Ray McDevitt, a real estate agent with Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, is a former partner with Polaschek in Hunter’s Club, a famed local pub known for having one of the best hamburgers in the area.

“Nobody really knows anything,” McDevitt said of the boating accident. “The Coast Guard found his boat at 4 in the morning.”

McDevitt said he has not talked yet to Polaschek’s wife, Karla, but instead, found out about the incident through friends.

It was in 2008 that the pair reopened Hunter’s Club, which opened in 1931 as a speakeasy. They originally closed it earlier that year after McDevitt and Polaschek shut down the restaurant and added package liquor and a tobacco outlet.

They spent $500,000 remodeling the premises last year, including a new kitchen and mechanical equipment, a brighter interior with more seating and a refurbished mahogany bar, oak tables, artwork and other original fixtures. But they shut it down about two months later.

Hunter’s closed in August 2006 when the previous operator, who had been buying it on contract from Polaschek, shut down the business after its liquor license was suspended. It reopened under Polaschek’s management on Dec. 29, 2006.

Years earlier, Polaschek owned a warehouse in downtown Davenport that he wanted to develop as apartments.

EARLIER STORY

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) --- A man from Davenport, Iowa, is missing following a boating trip in the Florida Keys.

Monroe County Sheriff's officials say 49-year-old Mark Polaschek didn't return Friday from a sailboat trip on the Gulf of Mexico side of Key Largo.

Sheriff's officials say the man's wife told them he wasn't an experienced boater, but insisted on going out on their sailboat. She reported him missing the next day to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A search turned up the sailboat, but didn't find him.

Polaschek's wife told deputies she didn't like going out on the water with him because she was afraid of his “lack of boating skills.”

The couple and their 6-year-old son were vacationing in Key Largo.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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