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For second time in three weeks, someone dies in Pinellas going after a dog in the water

A Largo man died near Honeymoon Island on Tuesday after he tried to rescue a dog that had jumped into the water, authorities said.

The incident occurred about 2:30 p.m. as Isam Rizkallah, 58, and another man were in the water trying to anchor a 27-foot boat. The dog jumped off the boat, then swam into deeper water. Both men went after the dog and Rizkallah was overcome by a strong current and exhaustion, according to officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

A good Samaritan threw Rizkallah a line, but he was too weak to hang on and didn't resurface, officials said.

The other man, whose name was not released, was hospitalized for precautionary reasons. Authorities found Rizkallah's body about an hour later.

The dog survived.

This is the second time in the past three weeks that someone has died in Pinellas County while trying to rescue a dog in the water.

On May 24, John Patti jumped from a boat to rescue his Yorkshire terrier, Rascal, after the dog fell into Lake Tarpon. Patti, 70, of Palm Harbor retrieved the dog and returned it to the boat, but then went underwater. His body was found the next day.

For second time in three weeks, someone dies in Pinellas going after a dog in the water 06/11/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 2:19pm]
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