Man Missing in Florida Keys After Rescuing Child Drifting in Sea

Officials are searching for a man who is missing after he was rescuing a child in distress in the water.

By Brandon Launerts
|  Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013  |  Updated 5:48 PM EDT
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Man Missing in Keys After Rescuing Child at Sea

United States Coast Guard Seventh District

United States Coast Guard Seventh District

Coast Guard officials are searching for a man who went missing after he dove into the water to rescue his daughters friend who drifted out to the sea in the Florida Keys on Monday.

Monroe County detectives say several adults and children were aboard a boat that was towing a group of children in the water who were hanging on with a rope. Police say 39-year-old Brian Kowalski dove into the water to rescue one of the children who began to show signs of distress.

Kowalski safely rescued the child but while he was returning the child back to the boat, he started to show signs of distress when the rope became tangled with the boat’s propeller. People on the boat lost sight of Kowalski as they were struggling to remove the tangled rope, police say.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred around 4 p.m. Monday, off the gulf side of West Summerland Key.

The Coast Guard searched throughout the night with helicopter and boat crews, but there was no sign of Kowalski. The U.S. Navy will be assisting in the search.

The Coast Guard is asking all boaters in the area to stay alert and contact the Coast Guard Sector Key West at 305-292-8727 with any information related to the case.
 

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