Man rescued after sailboat runs aground off Redington Beach

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Pinellas deputies rescued a man after his sailboat ran aground near Redington Beach early Sunday morning.

It happened behind The Tides condominium on Gulf Boulevard around 5 a.m. Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies got a call from US Coast Guard requesting a check on a possible sailboat running aground off Redington Beach.

Deputies responded and located a 30-foot sailboat that was partially capsized about 15-20 feet offshore. The engine motor was still running.

Deputies heard someone moaning in distress on board. Deputy Daniel Nociera, Deputy Tyler Schutz, and Deputy Jason Schmittendorf waded out into the waist deep water and found the man, 74-year-old James Shemwell. Deputies said he was clinging to the deck of the boat. Shemwell was disoriented and suffered minor injuries.

They pulled him safely to shore and check the vessel to make sure there was nobody else there.

Shemwell told the deputies he remembered departing from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge area. Deputies believe his impairment may have been a factor in the incident.

Shemwell was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The incident will be investigated.

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