DESTIN — A man pulled from the water off Holiday Isle on Friday afternoon could not be revived, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.
The incident was reported just after 2 p.m. near 300 Gulf Shore Drive, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office.
The 38-year-old tourist, who was not immediately identified, was seen struggling in the water. Bystanders tried to rescue him but were pulled underwater themselves and could not get him out, the Sheriff's Office reported.
Jennifer Duhon, who is on vacation from Louisiana, said she was at the private beach owned by Emerald Grande when the incident occurred. She said the wind had picked up and the current became very strong. They were thigh-deep in the water and were moving closer to shore when they heard a woman scream for help.
Duhon said several beachgoers tried to swim to the man and the woman she believed to be his wife, who had been separated by the current. A pontoon boat in the vicinity reached them first. The people on the boat then used a float board to paddle him to the beach, where a nurse immediately began CPR.
Duhon called the Daily News, hoping to hear that the man had survived.
"It was so sad," she said. "It was the saddest day ever."
The man was taken to the Coast Guard Station to wait for a medical helicopter, but he could not be revived.