Coast Guard suspends search for missing swimmer off Fort DeSoto

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard has suspended the search pending the development of new information for a missing swimmer off Fort DeSoto Park in St. Petersburg.

Missing is Kevin Anthony Persad, 29, of St. Petersburg.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a 911 relay call from friends of Persad Wednesday, reporting he was missing after he disappeared while swimming in the waters near Bunces Pass north of Fort DeSoto Park, at approximately 3:30 p.m.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and a 25-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg searched in conjunction with Pinellas County Sheriff boatcrews and divers, Pinellas County Fire boatcrews, Eckerd College rescue boatcrew, and a Pinellas County Sheriff helicopter.

The Coast Guard reminds the boating public and beachgoers to monitor coastal and offshore weather conditions prior to swimming and boating offshore.

The greatest safety precaution that can be taken is to recognize the danger of rip currents and always remember to swim at beaches with lifeguards. The Coast Guard recommends swimmers and surfers avoid beaches where lifeguards are not on duty.

To monitor present conditions of local beaches, please click here: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/forecasts.shtml

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