Man operating parasail drowns near St. Pete Beach

Two people parasail in Florida. This photo is not related to the incident. (AP Photo/Tony Winton)

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A man driving a parasail boat drowned in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, 300 yards off shore, according to deputies.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says Thomas Howell, 55 was operating a Sun Sports parasail boat when he suffered a medical episode and fell overboard.

He was not wearing a life jacket and drowned.

Jet skis nearby helped authorities locate Howell, who had been floating unconsciously for five to ten minutes.

Authorities administered CPR and brought him to shore behind the Trade Winds Casino, where authorities attempted life saving measures.

He was then transported to the Palms of Pasadena Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in his death.

The incident is still under investigation.



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