Good Samaritan Missing After Father and Son Drown in Florida Riptide

Authorities in Florida are continuing their search for a missing Good Samaritan who tried to save a father and son caught in a riptide.

The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office said deputies had been called to the Apollo Beach Nature Reserve at around 7.30 p.m. on Friday after a 911 call about two missing swimmers—a father and son—who had been swept away by a current.

In a news release, the sheriff's office said another man, identified by local media as 27-year-old Kristoff Murray, had jumped into the water in a bid to rescue them but was caught by the current as well.

Several agencies including the sheriff's office's dive team, Hillsborough Fire Rescue, and the U.S. Coast Guard responded and began searching.

The body of the deceased father was pulled from the water at around 9 p.m. by rescue crews, the sheriff's office said. His son was found alive minutes later and transported to a nearby hospital, but ultimately died.

Sheriff Chad Chronister said the chances of Murray surviving are slim, but authorities are continuing to search the waters near the 6700 block of Surfside Boulevard.

"Our hearts break for the father and son who lost their lives tonight," Chronister said in a statement. "The horrible sight led a selfless stranger to sacrifice his own life, in an attempt to save them."

Here is the Good Samaritan who jumped into a current last night trying to save a father and son in Apollo Beach. Family gave me this pic of Kristoff Murray, 27. Hillsborough deputies continue to search for him in the water. @BN9

— Tim Wronka (@TimWronka) June 12, 2021

Murray's wife Tjonique Gray is hopeful he will be found alive.

"I hope he's somewhere out there. He's a pretty good swimmer. We're pretty hopeful. His mom is pretty hopeful. We're just hoping for the best," Gray told Bay News 9.

According to the station, Gray saw the man and his son, who have not been identified, struggling in the water, prompting her husband—who has been dubbed the "Apollo Beach Hero"—to jump in and try to save them.

"We're certainly calling him now, not just a good Samaritan, but our Apollo Beach hero," Chronister told WTVT.

Chronister also warned people about "extremely strong" currents at the nature reserve, where swimming is prohibited.

"It's summertime in Florida. It's hot. We all want to be in the water; we all want to cool off," he said. "But please, when you have areas that are clearly marked no swimming, it's for a reason. I'm asking every parent out there, don't put an infant child near any type of moving or open body of water without a lifejacket on."

 Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Authorities are continuing to search for a missing Good Samaritan who jumped into the water in a bid to save a father and son caught in a riptide. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office