Palm Harbor man, 70, drowns trying to save his dog

May 25, 2014 

PALM HARBOR -- Searchers have found the body of a Palm Harbor man who went missing Saturday from a boat in Lake Tarpon trying to save his dog.

The body of John Patti, 70, was recovered around 8:15 a.m. Sunday in the Brooker Creek area of the lake, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

Patti was out with three other people on a pontoon boat Saturday afternoon near John Chestnut Sr. Park when he jumped into the water to rescue his dog. He never came back up, authorities said.

Divers and other personnel from the sheriff's office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began looking for Patti around 4 p.m. Saturday but had to suspend their search because of darkness. They used various forms of sonar equipment, helicopters and boats.

The search resumed at daybreak Sunday.

Patti's death appears to be accidental, the sheriff's office said. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

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