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Father drowns while saving 8-year-old daughter, Lee County deputies say

Man passed daughter to wife before going under water Tuesday

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(Lee County Sheriff's Office)

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A father drowned Tuesday while saving his 8-year-old daughter, Lee County Sheriff's Office deputies confirmed.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a family was walking along a curved sandbar on the shore of Upper Captiva just after 5:30 p.m. when the mother, who was walking ahead of her husband and daughter, glanced back and saw that they were struggling in the water.

Deputies said the woman immediately jumped into the water and her husband was able to pass their child to her.

Authorities said the man, however, continued to struggle and disappeared in the water.

The United States Coast Guard, Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission, Sanibel and Captiva Fire Departments joined the Lee County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit and Aviation Unit in the search for the missing father, whose body was later recovered.

His identity has not yet been released.

UPDATE #2: The decedent from yesterday's incident in Captiva has been identified as Thomas Zakrewski (DOB 10/06/1972). UPDATE #1: The search for the missing male has ended as his body has been located. ORIGINAL POST: On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received a call for service at approximately 5:38 pm regarding a missing adult male swimmer. A family walked along a curved sandbar on the shore of Upper Captiva when the mother, walking ahead of her family, glanced backward and discovered that her husband and 8-year-old child were struggling in the water. Immediately, the mother jumped into the water and the father managed to pass the child to her. Unfortunately, the father continued to struggle and disappeared into the water. The Marine Emergency Response Team (MERT) was activated and a multi-agency search began immediately. The United States Coast Guard, FWC, Sanibel and Captiva Fire Departments joined the Lee County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit and Aviation Unit in the search for the missing male. Rough waters and considerable wind continue to hamper MERT efforts. As of 9:15 pm, the team has yet to locate the missing man. Updated information will be provided when available.

Posted by Lee County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, July 9, 2019

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