Minnesota man drowns in Florida trying to rescue struggling swimmers


A Minnesota man has drowned in Florida after trying to help save two other people on Wednesday.

MyPanhandle.com reports that Dmitriy Aleksand Bondarenko, 39, of Shakopee, rushed to the rescue of two distressed swimmers – one of whom was a relative of his – off the coast of the Panama City Beach at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A massive search was launched when he didn't return, with an 87-foot Coast Guard patrol boat, a 45-foot response boat and a Naval helicopter assisting the search.

According to WJHG, the helicopter pilot spotted a body in the water just off the coast at around 11 a.m. Thursday.

The TV station says that double red flags were flying at the time, which means the water was closed to swimmers.

KSTP reports that Bondarenko was with his wife at the time of the incident.

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