A missing swimmer who prompted a 55-square-mile search of the Gulf of Mexico was never really missing at all.
Treasure Island police say the woman reported missing Saturday night by a passerby on the beach simply left the water at a different spot. The only thing missing were the clothes she left on the beach, which is what prompted the search in the first place.
A guest at the nearby Page Terrace Motel called police about 10:30 p.m. Saturday to report seeing a woman in her 30s shed her clothes and enter the Gulf in a metallic bikini near the hotel at 10500 Gulf Blvd. She left a shirt and shorts on the sand.
The man called police when he noticed her clothes were still in the same spot and she couldn't be seen in the water. The next morning, the woman, a guest at the Bilmar Beach Resort, reported her missing clothes to the staff, who contacted police.
"She was never in distress. Everything is fine," Treasure Island police Sgt. Armand Boudreau said today. "It's happened here before where, unfortunately, people go in the water and they might come out two blocks away — even in daylight — and can't find their clothes. Either we find them or someone turns them in."
In an unrelated incident, a man who went swimming late Friday night off Redington Shores was rescued by the Coast Guard on Saturday morning after treading water for hours.