A Tampa man drowned Sunday night in the waters on the Pinellas side of the Gandy Bridge.
According to Pinellas County deputies, 28-year-old Cruz Sales-Lopez was swimming with girlfriend Erika Fuentes Ambrosio, 33, near the northwest side of the Gandy Bridge before 7 p.m. when he began struggle as they headed back to shore.
Sales-Lopez called out for help before sinking below the water’s surface, deputies said.
Ambrosio called 911 after she was unable to locate him.
Marine and air units from the Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Tampa Fire Rescue Department responded, and crews searched for nearly 40 minutes before finding Sales-Lopez unresponsive in the water.
Sales-Lopez was found around 100 meters from the shore of the Gandy beach, according to deputies. He was last seen around swimming around 25 meters away and at the time of the incident the tide was going out.
He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he later died, deputies said.
Deputies said Sales-Lopez did not know how to swim, but that the incident appears to be an accident.
An investigation is ongoing.
This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.