Florida bicyclist drowns while trying to retrieve hat from water

A bicyclist died Wednesday night when he tried to retrieve a hat that blew off his head and ended up drowning in Anna Maria Sound in Manatee County, authorities said.

Andy Lewis Milton Sr., 51, was riding on the Anna Maria Island Bridge in Bradenton when the hat blew into the water, the Bradenton Herald reports. Milton went to retrieve it, but he failed to come back to shore.

A search began after a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officer driving over the bridge noticed Milton, the Herald added.

“I had some good Samaritans in their own vessels in the area who were helping, as well,” Marine Rescue chief Joseph Westerman said. “West Manatee Fire Rescue put a couple of their guys in the water and we started a combined effort, grid search. Within two dives he was able to pull out the man.”

Paramedics tried to revive Milton, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman David Bristow said he believes Milton was homeless, the Herald reports.

Read more at the Bradenton Herald.

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