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Deputies Search for Missing Swimmer

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 21-131


Friday June 11, 2021 7:30 PM


Apollo Beach Nature Preserve Apollo Beach, FL
Deputies Search for Missing Swimmer

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office continues to search for a missing swimmer in Apollo Beach.
On Friday, June 11, 2021, at approximately 7:30 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve, located at 6773 Surfside Boulevard, after receiving a 911 call about two missing swimmers, an adult male and a child, who had been swept away by a current and were in distress. A Good Samaritan jumped in to attempt to rescue them, but was caught by the current as well.
HCSO's Marine Unit, Aviation Unit, and Dive Team, along with Hillsborough Fire Rescue, and the U.S. Coast Guard, were immediately activated. At approximately 9:00 p.m., the body of a deceased adult male was recovered. Minutes later, the child was found and transported to a nearby hospital, where he passed away. The victims have been identified as Janosh Purackal, 37, and Daniel Purackal, 3, both out of Gibsonton. 
Search and rescue efforts will continue through the night for the third individual. 
"Our hearts break for the father and son who lost their lives tonight. The horrible sight led a selfless stranger to sacrifice his own life, in an attempt to save them," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "As we aggresively search these waters to try and locate this individual, we are urging everyone to remember that water safety is paramount."