ST. PETERSBURG — One man died hours after he and a friend were pulled from the water Monday when their fishing boat capsized near the Dick Misener Bridge, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
A bicyclist riding over the bridge saw the boat capsized just east of the bridge, the agency said, and called 911 at 9:44 a.m.
A St. Petersburg Fire Rescue boat was the first to respond. Paramedics discovered Stephen Smith, 62, hanging on to the back of a capsized Gheenoe fishing boat, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The other man Robert Kleinman, 59, had drifted away from the boat. The paramedics located him nearby, where he was being assisted by an "unidentified good samaritan."
Smith and Kleinman were fishing by the bridge when they were struck by several wakes created by other boats passing by, according to the agency.
Their boat filled with water, then capsized. Deputies said Smith told them he and Kleinman spent about 30 minutes trying to get the boat upright.
But Kleinman became separated from the boat when the two were hit by another wake made by a passing boat.
Kleinman was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Smith was uninjured and was taken to Maximo Park Boat Ramp, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Kleinman was pronounced dead less than an hour later at 10:42 a.m. He had a pre-existing medical condition that may have contributed to his death, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
An investigation is being conducted into his death.