Man missing after walk with friends in water - WFLA News Channel 8

Man missing after walk with friends in water

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

The three day long Labor Day weekend has turned tragic for a Pasco County family.

A father of four stumbled into an underwater hole while walking with a friend in Clearwater.

Clearwater Fire Rescue says 27-year-old James Poindexter, is still missing. He was walking in the water, about 40 yards out from shore, when he fell into a deep hole and never surfaced again.

The father and coach at the Spring Hill Boys and Girls Club, vanished underwater.

"He started calling for help and we went out to go get him and he just kept going under and I kept trying to tell just to start paddling and he panicked I'm guessing and the under current got him. And he went down one last time and he didn't come back up," said Selina Sierra, Poindextor's Mother in law.

Several agencies rushed to the south end of the Sand Key Bridge to search for Poindexter.

The Clearwater Fire department ordered the beach cleared. Dive teams looked underwater. Others scanned the depths with sonar mounted to boats. A Pinellas Sheriff's helicopter made sweeps overhead.

By sunset, the search shifted toward Clearwater Pass.

"There are some currents today. I don't think it's anything abnormal. But we do have a lot of currents that run through here and obviously being close to the pass," said Clearwater Fire Rescue Operations Chief, Richard Riley.

The missing man's family says Poindexter is not a good swimmer. They describe him as a hard worker, and good father.

His mother in law says this accident happened as he sloshed through water not far from where his family had set up to enjoy the day. "They were walking and then I guess it went down too deep. It dipped or something and he couldn't get back up," she said.

Sierra says family members are making their way to Florida from New York to help her cope with this situation.

The search for Poindexter will resume Tuesday morning.

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