Man, Baby Drown Off Apollo Beach, Search on for Good Samaritan

APOLLO BEACH -- A man and a baby drowned Friday night after getting swept into Tampa Bay as they were wading at Apollo Beach.

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister says they were wading in the water around 7:30 p.m., and lost their footing in the strong current. A woman at the scene says her boyfriend saw the two were in trouble and jumped into the water to rescue them.

A boater spotted the man's body around 9 p.m. A few minutes later, rescuers spotted the baby, tried to resuscitate it, but were unsuccessful. Deputies are trying to identify the child and adult.

A search is going on overnight for the good Samaritan, with sheriff's deputies including the dive team, fire rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard remaining on scene overnight to conduct a grid search.

Chronister says the area was clearly marked no swimming, and he has this message. "Don't put an infant near any type of moving or open water without... a life jacket."

He described the good Samaritan's efforts as "heroic" and while he thinks the chances of rescuing him alive are slim, he says rescuers will "give him every chance of hope we have by staying out here."

Photo: WFLA-TV News Channel 8

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