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Man found dead after paddleboarding near Gandy Bridge, deputies say

Authorities are investigating after Daniel Lukens, 60, was found in the water after attempting to cross Tampa Bay.
Deputies are investigating after a man was found death in the water near Gandy Bridge.
Deputies are investigating after a man was found death in the water near Gandy Bridge.
Published Jan. 30

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 60-year-old man who was found dead in the water Saturday on the north side of the Gandy Bridge after he attempted to paddleboard across Tampa Bay.

Foul play is not suspected, spokesperson Jessica Mackesy said in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. Deputies received a report of a body floating in the water around 2:32 p.m. Saturday, according to an agency news release. They retrieved an adult male, later identified as Daniel Lukens.

Around 12:45 p.m., Lukens began to paddleboard from Gandy Beach, attempting to cross Tampa Bay and heading in the direction of Picnic Island.

Lukens was wearing a life vest, but his paddleboard and tether were not located, deputies said. They do not know how long he was in the water before he was found.

Lukens’ next of kin has been notified and the medical examiner will conduct an autopsy. The investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

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