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Georgia man dies saving 8-year-old daughter in Florida waters

Authorities say he was able to pass his struggling daughter to her mother before he went under.

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Georgia man has died after rescuing his 8-year-old daughter from a possible rip current in Florida.

Lee County authorities said they received a call on Tuesday evening of a missing man who was swimming off of Upper Captiva Island. It all happened as a family was walking along a curved sandbar on the island. That's when the mother, walking ahead of her family, looked back and saw her husband and 8-year-old child struggling in the water.

The sheriff's office said she immediately jumped into the water and the father managed to pass the child to her. But he eventually disappeared into the water. 

Sadly, the body of the victim, later identified as Thomas Zakrewski, was soon found after a large search operation by the sheriff's office, multiple fire departments and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida later confirmed that the 46-year-old man was a resident of Georgia. The paper said it's still unclear if his death was the result of a rip current. But it would be the 13th such death of the year in Florida, if so.


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