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Apollo Beach, FL

Father and son confirmed drowned, another still missing

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ABC Action News WFTS
ABC Action News WFTS
 2021-06-12
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We now know the names of the father and son who drown near Apollo Beach Friday night.

U.S.C.G. confirms Janosh Purackal, 37, and Daniel Purackal, 3, were pronounced dead after being recovered from the water.

Another man who tried to help is still missing. His name is Kristoff Murray and rescue crews are calling him an Apollo Beach hero, after his wife reported he ran into the water to try to help the man and child, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

“Saw the adult and child were struggling and immediately, without hesitation, jumped in the water to try to save the both of them. We’re calling him not just a Good Samaritan but our Apollo beach hero,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.

The sheriff said the adult and toddler, were reported wading in the water when the current took them. The Apollo Beach Hero was revealed to be 27-year-old Kristoff Murray by his wife Tjonique Gray.

Tjonique Gray

Tjonique and the rest of Kristoff's family spent most of Saturday out at the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve just hoping for the best.

“I’ve been here since 7 a.m., and nothing, just sitting in the hot sun waiting on somebody to tell us something," said Gray.

The Coast Guard pulled back their search efforts, but FWC and deputies with HCSO's Marine Unit conducted a search in the area of Surfside Boulevard, using a grid to search by air and water.

Tom Bock

The sheriff said they recovered the adult man, who did not survive and shortly after found the young child. Rescue crews rushed the child to the hospital and tried resuscitation efforts, but the sheriff said the child also did not survive.

The sheriff described the water with a strong current and heavy chop. While he said chances of survival may be slim, they are continuing to search for the hero.

Tom Bock

The Coast Guard has pulled back their search efforts, but FWC and HCSO continue searching for Kristoff.

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