Coast Guard reports drunk man drifted mile off shore on "pool floaty" unconscious

2:02 AM, Jun 24, 2010   |    comments
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  • Boater Tim Ramsberger helped rescue man found floating in Gulf.

Belleair Beach, Florida-The US Coast Guard reports a Largo man got drunk on a pool float and drifted a mile out into the Gulf unconscious before finally being spotted by a good samaritan.

The man, identified as 48 year old Jerry Whipple was found around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon more than a mile off the coast of Belleair Beach.

"He didn't respond to our boat horns, he didn't respond to our yells and we were pretty close," says boater Tim Ramsberger of Treasure Island. "At first we thought it was just some debris floating in the water."

Ramsberger called 9-1-1 after making the discovery thinking the man might be dead.

Coast Guard Crews arrived and say they found the man to be severely intoxicated after waking up.

"He was sitting on a small pool raft. Had no idea where he was, didn't know what time of day it was, how long he was out for, or even how far of shore he was," says Petty Officer Brodie MacDonald of the U.S. Coast Guard. "The winds were blowing him further out. Really is quite lucky he is still alive today."

Whipple was transported to a local hospital and released. No word yet on if he'll face any charges.

Beau Zimmer, 10 Connects

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