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55-year-old man drowns in rip currents off Treasure Island

TREASURE ISLAND — Unusually strong rip currents may have contributed to the death of a 55-year-old man who drowned while swimming off Treasure Island on Saturday, police said.

The man had been swimming in the area with friends shortly before passersby saw his body in the water just off the beach. Beachgoers pulled the unconscious man from the water and called 911.

Police performed CPR on the man until emergency medical workers arrived, but they couldn't save him.

The incident happened about 3 p.m. near the 8400 block of Gulf Boulevard, which is near Blind Pass Road.

It's unknown if the swimmer experienced a medical problem. Rip currents may have been a contributing factor, as several water rescues took place along the Pinellas beaches within hours of the man's drowning.

Treasure Island police haven't released the man's name pending notification of his family.

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