LARGO — A 33-year-old Clearwater man was transported to Largo Medical Center with life-threatening injuries May 4 after nearly drowning while trying to rescue his dog from the lake at Walsingham Park.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about 10:13 a.m. about a man and a dog struggling to swim in the water at the park, 12615 102nd Ave. N., in unincorporated Largo.
Deputies say Mark Payne, his wife, Ashley Payne, 33, and his mother-in-law Roberta Sharman, 48, of St. Petersburg were behind shelter #1 at Walsingham Park with their dog getting ready to take family photographs.
Deputies say the dog was on a leash, but managed to pull away from Mark and run into Lake Walsingham. Mark went into the lake to fetch the family dog, but for an unknown reason, Mark struggled to swim and went underwater.
Deputies say Sharman went into the lake and rescued Mark who was unconscious. Sharman brought Mark back to shore.
Paramedics from the city of Seminole Fire Rescue Department responded and treated Mark at the scene. Mark had a pulse and he was breathing when paramedics transported him to Largo Medical Center for life-threatening injuries.
Paramedics went into the lake and retrieved the family dog. The dog was uninjured.
Deputies say the incident appears accidental in nature.