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Tampa Man Dies of Drowning

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He could not swim, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said. His death appears to be accidental.

ST. PETERSBURG – A Tampa man died Sunday (April 29) of injuries he received when he almost drowned on Gandy Beach, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Lino Gomez, 23, of Tampa, died at Tampa General Hospital where he was taken after the drowning.

The incident happened about 4:13 Saturday (April 28) on Gandy Beach in the unincorporated St. Petersburg area.

Deputies said Mr. Gomez and his wife, Angela Perez, 20, were in the water on an inflatable float just south of Gandy Beach when the tidal current pushed Mr. Gomez and Perez’s float into a deep channel that paralleled the beach. As they were trying to paddle back to the beach, Mr. Gomez fell off the float into the water. Perez tried to help Mr. Gomez back onto the float but she also fell into the water.

Neither Mr. Gomez nor Perez knew how to swim, but Perez was able to grab onto the float. Deputies said she lost sight of Mr. Gomez who was being swept out with the current.

Perez made it back to shore safely and flagged down a passing boater who helped search for Mr. Gomez.

The good Samaritan boater, whose name was not available, found Mr. Gomez floating face down in the water, unresponsive. The boater brought him back to shore where a second good Samaritan, Melissa Shaffer, 37, of St. Petersburg, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived.

Paramedics took Mr. Gomez to Tampa General Hospital where he died Sunday.

Deputies said his death appears to be accidental.

Pinellas Sheriff | Gandy Beach | Drowning | Lino Gomez | Death | Tampabay News

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