Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
- Marine Unit
- Flight Unit
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Tampa Fire Rescue Department
Cruz Sales-Lopez (Deceased)
Address: Resided in Tampa
Erika Fuentes Ambrosio (Witness)
Address: Resides in Tampa
Pinellas deputies are investigating the drowning of a Tampa man after he disappeared while swimming near the Gandy Bridge in unincorporated St. Petersburg.
The incident occurred at about 6:58 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2018.
The incident occurred on the northwest side of the Gandy Bridge in unincorporated St. Petersburg.
According to deputies, 28-year-old Cruz Sales-Lopez was swimming with his girlfriend, 33-year-old Erika Ambrosio, on the northwest side of the Gandy Bridge.
Deputies say Sales-Lopez and Ambrosio were headed back to shore when Sales-Lopez started having difficulty swimming. Ambrosio told deputies that Sales-Lopez yelled for help before disappearing under the water.
Ambrosio was unable to find Sales-Lopez and swam back to shore where she called 911.
Deputies from the Marine Unit and the Flight Unit responded to search for Sales-Lopez. Marine units from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Tampa Fire Rescue Department also responded to assist with the search.
After searching the area for approximately 40 minutes, paramedics from the Tampa Fire Rescue Department found Sales-Lopez unresponsive in the water.
Sales-Lopez was transported to the Gandy Boat Ramp where an ambulance transported him to Tampa General Hospital for life-threatening injuries.
Sales-Lopez was pronounced deceased at about 8:50 p.m. on June 17, 2018.
The investigation revealed that Sales-Lopez did not know how to swim.
Deputies say the incident appears accidental in nature.
The investigation continues.
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