Sunday, June 17, 2018
Public safety

Missing swimmer's body found off Sand Key

CLEARWATER — A body recovered Wednesday afternoon from the Gulf of Mexico off Sand Key is that of a 27-year-old swimmer reported missing Monday, police said.

The clothing and jewelry on the body match what James Poindexter, a resident of Spring Hill in Hernando County, was wearing when he disappeared while wading on the Intracoastal Waterway side of Sand Key on Labor Day.

Police received a call about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday from boaters on a 31-foot catamaran who had discovered the body. A Clearwater Fire & Rescue boat headed to the scene and brought the body back to Clearwater Beach, where it was picked up by the medical examiner.

Hours later, the identity was confirmed.

Poindexter was wading near Clearwater Pass, a narrow channel between the barrier islands of Clearwater Beach and Sand Key that connects the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway. The channel is known for its powerful current.

The area has signs warning about the current and that it is not designated for swimming. There is also an underwater ledge off the beach where the depth suddenly plunges to 15 feet. Several other people have drowned in the area.

Poindexter, who lived with his girlfriend and four young children, was a popular volunteer coach and mentor at the Hernando County Boys & Girls Club this summer. He had recently been hired by the organization to continue his coaching and mentoring, and was scheduled to start the job on Tuesday.

Laura C. Morel can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.

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