A man who safely swam across Clearwater Pass on a bet Wednesday night set off a rescue operation involving firefighters, the Coast Guard and the Pinellas County sheriff's helicopter. After rescuers gave up, 21-year-old Bradley Shephard was found safe at a friend's apartment, said police spokesman Wayne Shelor.
Rescuers were called by people who had not seen Shephard after he swam into the pass channel behind 610 S Gulfview Blvd. about 10 p.m. One of two men who attempted to find Shephard in the water got caught in the swift currents and had to be retrieved from a channel marker.
Police located Shephard ashore about an hour later. Shelor said Shephard, whose address was unavailable, swam across the pass to Sand Key after making a $100 bet. No charges were filed.