tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
  • Home

Two men swim to shore after boat sinks; one dies

One of two 24-year-old men who swam to shore Sunday afternoon after their boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico has died, authorities said.

Stephen J. Chadwick, of Tarpon Springs, died at 2 a.m. Monday at Helen Ellis Hospital, said Baryl Martin, a spokesman with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is conducted.

About 2 p.m. Sunday, Chadwick and Joseph Citro, of Indianapolis, boarded a Jon boat off Crystal Beach in Palm Harbor and headed to meet friends on spoil islands, deputies said.

The boat began taking on water less than an hour into the trip — between Crystal Beach and Honeymoon Island – and sank after a wave overtook it, deputies said.

The men capsized the boat and initially held on to the hull before deciding to swim to shore.

Chadwick wore a life vest and Citro used a backpack to stay afloat.

Chadwick lost consciousness about 7 p.m. as they approached shore, deputies said.

Citro pulled Chadwick ashore at 908 Point Seaside Drive in Palm Harbor. A resident at that address helped Citro perform CPR on Chadwick and called 911, deputies said.

Rescue workers arrived, and both men were taken to Helen Ellis Hospital. Deputies said Citro had non-life-threatening injuries.

The FWC is investigating.

Weather Center