JFRD: Swimmer found dead in water near Little Talbot Island

1 rescued, 1 found dead in water

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – From the air and from the water, three different agencies searched for a missing swimmer off of Little Talbot Island.

It all came after the swimmer’s friend was saved by good Samaritans.

One witness was Ricky Gibson, whose wife was one of the rescuers.

“She saved one of them and three other guys came and helped her,” Gibson said.

“She had done gotten too tired. When I made it out there, I had to pull her in.”

Gibson’s wife was lying on the beach exhausted after trying to save the lives of the two swimmers.

David Mellert and his friend heard the cries for help and rushed into the water to help also.

“It was purely humbling, and thankfully we had the endurance to get out there, and it was truly a remarkable day,” Mellert said. “Unfortunately, somebody was lost in the process, but we were able to save somebody.”

Witnesses tell News4Jax that it appears two men lost their footing while in the surf.

Jacksonville Fire Rescue said both men were middle-aged.

Crews eventually found the deceased man’s body down the shoreline, minutes after the search began.

The swimmer who survived expressed his gratitude. 

“He was just extremely appreciative of what we did, and unfortunately, we couldn’t go back out there,” Mellert said. “And, if we would have saw that person, we would’ve definitely risked our lives to try to save him in the process.”

Officials still haven’t identified either of those swimmers or said where they were from.