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St. Pete Beach man, 87, dies during daily swim after suffering medical episode

ST. PETE BEACH — An 87-year-old resident who swam daily with his wife in the waterway behind their home died Wednesday afternoon when he suffered a medical episode while in the water, deputies said.

Robert Schmedes, 87, was pronounced dead at a hospital after the incident behind his home in McPherson Bayou, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies and paramedics were called to the home at about 3:23 p.m. to find Ursula Schmedes, 90, struggling to hold her husband's head above the water. They pulled him out and attempted to resuscitate him.

The wife told deputies that while they were swimming, her husband suddenly appeared to be in distress and went underwater. She swam to help him and keep his head up.

Neighbors witnessed the incident and called 911. No other information about the incident was released.