Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Beachgoers unable to revive overboard kayaker off Honeymoon Island

DUNEDIN — People on shore saw Patrick G. Willoughby set off in his kayak Sunday afternoon, a boater paddling under clear skies off Honeymoon Island.

But something — investigators don't know what — happened to the 52-year-old on the water.

Pinellas County deputies said beachgoers walking along the shore saw Willoughby's kayak adrift without a pilot. His body was floating nearby.

Deputies said the people on shore pulled Willoughby, from Safety Harbor, onto the beach, began performing CPR and called 911.

Paramedics arrived, but could not resuscitate him.

Deputies said the death is not suspicious, but the cause is unknown and will be determined by the medical examiner's office.

Willoughby, a business development manager for home delivery at the St. Petersburg Times, was fondly remembered by colleagues as a family man who loved being on the water.

Jim Thompson, a Times operations manager and Willoughby's supervisor, said Willoughby was in his element while in a kayak — an activity he often enjoyed with his wife, Kathie.

"He went kayaking just last weekend up in Citrus (County). He and his wife, they were patting the manatees as they were just coming up to their kayaks," Thompson said.

Thompson said Willoughby enjoyed a 20-year career in the newspaper business, first with the Gannett Co., then starting with the Times 11 years ago.

Thompson said Willoughby was instrumental in pushing the department's transformation in recent years, and was a "dynamic" presence in the office.

Willoughby's daughter, Megan Willoughby, said her family was shaken by the news and unable to comment at this time.

Beachgoers unable to revive overboard kayaker off Honeymoon Island 10/17/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 18, 2010 5:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus


    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.

  2. Ed Sheeran coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Let it never be said Ed Sheeran hasn't given the people of Tampa what they want.

  3. Editorial: Once more, homeowners are let down by state housing agency


    Once upon a time, the federal government created a program called the Hardest Hit Fund. Its goal was admirable, and its mission important. The fund was designed to aid Americans in danger of losing their houses after the Great Recession had wreaked havoc on the economy. Unfortunately, the folks in Washington erred in …

    The Hardest Hit Fund was designed to aid Americans in danger of losing their houses after the Great Recession. Unfortunately, the folks in Washington trusted Florida to get that money into the hands of people who needed it most.
  4. Editorial: Lessons from Hurricane Irma


    Two weeks later, Florida is still recovering from Hurricane Irma. But with federal, state and local officials still on the ground, and the experience fresh, now is a good time to start assessing what went right, what went wrong and how Florida can better prepare for the next one.


    More than 6 million of Florida’s 10 million residential and business customers lost power, including about 80 percent of Duke Energy’s customers in Pinellas.
  5. Back in bargaining, Hillsborough school district and its teachers are $50 million apart


    It started off nice and friendly. Gretchen Saunders, chief business officer for the Hillsborough County Public Schools, passed candy around the room. Negotiators for the district and the teachers' union commended one another for their good work during Hurricane Irma. The union thanked the district for paying everybody a …

    This a breakdown of what the school district says the teachers' union requests would cost if granted. The union rejects many of these numbers.