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Jerry Whipple Drifts One Mile Into Gulf Of Mexico On Pool Float Before Coast Guard Rescue

06/24/10 04:09 PM ET   AP

BELLEAIR BEACH, Fla. — A man who apparently passed out on a pool float at a Tampa area beach ended up drifting about a mile from Florida's shore in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the man, identified as Jerry Whipple, on Wednesday afternoon. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Mariana O'Leary says they suspect the man was very drunk.

The Coast Guard says a boater reported seeing an unconscious man floating well offshore. The Coast Guard and a Clearwater Fire Rescue unit responded and found the man, still unconscious and wearing a life jacket.

He eventually woke up and was checked by paramedics at a Coast Guard station.

O'Leary said the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the incident.

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Information from: St. Petersburg Times, http://tampabay.com

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Filed by T.J. Ortenzi  |