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Body discovered by fishing boat off Clearwater Pass

CLEARWATER — A man's body was found floating three miles offshore from Clearwater Pass Tuesday morning.

Detectives believe the man drowned over the weekend.

The U.S. Coast Guard received a call from the Reel Deal fishing boat at 7:34 a.m. Tuesday reporting a body in the water. A unit from Coast Guard Station Sand Key retrieved the body less than an hour later and brought it ashore.

Clearwater detectives believe the body is that of a 40-year-old man who was last seen at 5 p.m. Sunday behind the Holiday Inn Sunspree at 521 S Gulfview Blvd. on Clearwater Beach. He was there with his cousin and her family when he told her he was going to swim from the Sunspree, which is located on Clearwater Pass, to Shephard's Beach Resort nearby.

The cousin went to Shephard's around 8 p.m. Sunday to look for him, but couldn't find him. Clearwater police were not notified he was missing until Monday evening.

The body is now in the possession of the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office, which will do an autopsy to confirm the cause of death and the man's identity, police said.

The man had been drinking alcohol before he attempted to swim from one hotel to the other, the cousin told police.

The investigation continued Tuesday afternoon.

Body discovered by fishing boat off Clearwater Pass 09/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 5:41pm]

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