Drowning in Gulf of Mexico

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Texas man has drowned in the Gulf of Mexico, bringing the toll at Florida Panhandle beaches to seven for the year.

A Walton County sheriff's spokesman says William Draper Junior died in calm gulf waters Saturday after swimming to a sandbar at Miramar Beach.

Captain Danny Glidewell says the man hollered for help but became unresponsive before rescuers could get him aboard a kayak. He was pronounced dead at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Investigators say rip currents weren't to blame. They're awaiting a medical examiner's report.

At least 38 people have drowned along Panhandle beaches in the past three years. Most died in areas without lifeguard protection.

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