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Boy drowns off Fort Island

The last time anyone saw Elijah Jordan, a 10-year-old Georgia boy visiting Citrus County with his family, he was frolicking in the surf off Fort Island Beach on Monday afternoon.

Minutes later, beachgoers were searching the water for his body, then handing the boy to paramedics to be rushed to Seven Rivers Community Hospital, where doctors tried to revive him.

Jordan was pronounced dead at 6:14 p.m. Monday.

"Witnesses said he was playing in the water, jumping up and down," said Citrus County Sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney.

But his family lost sight of him. Within 10 minutes, a frantic search was on.

"By this time, everyone at the beach was involved in the search," Tierney said.

The call for emergency help was made to 911 at 4:56 p.m.

The search already had begun when Frank Dowell, 41, arrived at the beach Monday afternoon with his family. He joined the search and, minutes later, stumbled upon Jordan.

He picked up Jordan, then passed him on to rescue personnel, who began CPR on Jordan at the beach.

_ JAMAL THALJI

and AMYLIA WIMMER

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