Two individuals and a 3-year-old toddler have died and a third has gone missing after being swept away by strong currents at a beach in Tampa, Florida, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.
At a news conference Friday night, Chronister said authorities got a “frantic” 911 call about 7:30 p.m. Friday reporting that a father and a kid had been wading in the ocean and were washed away by the high current at the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve.
The 911 caller’s boyfriend attempted to save the child and the guy by jumping into the river, but was overcome by the current, according to the sheriff.
“When her boyfriend noticed the adult and kid struggling, he dived into the water without hesitation to attempt to save both of them,” Chronister added.
“We’re definitely dubbing him our Apollo Beach hero now, not just a Good Samaritan,” he continued.
The Good Samaritan was identified as Kristoff Murray, 27, by the sheriff’s office on Saturday, and the hunt for him is still underway.
According to the sheriff, many agencies arrived on location and conducted a grid search using dive teams, boats, and aircraft gear.
According to Chronister, a boater returning from a day at sea reported sighting a guy in the water to police. That man, who had been with the child, had been discovered dead in the sea.
Chronister said the boy was found a few minutes later and sent to the hospital, where he died.
Chronister stated that the identity of the father and kid who died, as well as their connection, are unknown.
As severe rip tides persist, the sheriff advised residents to approach the sea with care.
“In Florida, it’s summertime. It’s scorching outside. We all want to get into the water and chill down. But please remember that when you have clearly posted no swimming zones, it’s for a purpose “he stated
He stated that the circumstances in the water were so bad that even rescuers were having difficulty with the search.
Apollo Beach is located on Tampa Bay, about 17 miles south of Tampa.
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