Search resumes for missing Clearwater swimmer - FOX 13 News

Search resumes for missing Clearwater swimmer

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Photo courtesy Poindexter family. Photo courtesy Poindexter family.
CLEARWATER (FOX 13) -

The search is resuming for a missing swimmer who disappeared off the coast of Clearwater Monday afternoon.

James Poindexter was last seen around 2 p.m. just offshore at Bayside Park, which is in the Sand Key Bridge area.  His family says he was walking in the water about 40 yards out when the bottom seemed to drop right out.

The 27-year-old is not a strong swimmer, his family said.

"He started screaming for help," sobbed his mother-in-law, Selina Sierra.  "We went out to try to get him.  He was coming up. I was telling him to doggie paddle to try and get closer so I can meet him halfway, and he kept going under and coming back up and asking, 'Please help me.'  And we couldn't get there."

Crews from Clearwater Fire Rescue, the Coast Guard, and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spent the afternoon using helicopters in the air and side-scan sonar from boats to try and find him. But as the sun went down, they were forced to suspend the search for the night.

As the sun came up Tuesday morning, authorities were preparing to search again. Some bad weather in the area was delaying their efforts.

Poindexter is a father of four and a coach at the Spring Hill Boys and Girls Club, the family said.

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