Clearwater police officer Christian Zarra, left, talks to other members of the police department Friday evening after rescuing a swimmer off Clearwater Beach.
CLEARWATER - A Georgia man on vacation drown Friday, June 13, while swimming off the northern part of Clearwater Beach, near Idlewild Street. A Clearwater police officer rescued a second swimmer.
Officer Christian Zarra was on routine patrol on the beach about 6 p.m. when he was flagged down and told that there was a swimmer in the water having troubles, according to a police report. He saw and heard the man yelling for help and ran into the water to him. Zarra was able to pull the man, Donald Larry Duncan, 41, to the beach.
Duncan was able to tell Zarra there was a second person who was having difficulties in the rough waters of the Gulf. Clearwater Fire & Rescue and the Coast Guard responded and found the body of the other man, Ryan Terry, 20, shortly thereafter.
Duncan was taken to Morton Plant Hospital for treatment.
Police said Francois St. Maurice, 60, a cardiologist from Montreal, happened to be in the area of the beach and assisted in treating Duncan. Another man, Michael Foster of Livonia, Michigan, helped fire department rescuers find Terry’s body.
Duncan and Terry worked together in Georgia. The two were in Florida on vacation with others and had been staying at a hotel in the Orlando area.
Clearwater police encourage people to swim only in areas where the beach is staffed with lifeguards. Lifeguards can help keep an eye on swimmers and also can apprise them of potentially dangerous water conditions.