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Man drowns off Anna Maria Island

HOLMES BEACH — Authorities say a fisherman wade-fishing off the southern shoreline of the Intracoastal Waterway drowned after apparently being swept under by rip currents, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.

A Florida Fish & Wildllife Office found the body of Terry Cox, 50, in four feet of water, 120 yards south of the Kingfish Boat Ramp off Anna Maria Island.

At around 3:30 p.m., Cox and a friend, John Bell, had been wade-fishing in the waterway, 150 feet apart from each other, when Bell saw Cox begin to flail his arms in the air.

Bell thought Cox was fighting with a fish until he heard him scream for help, according to the sheriff’s report.

Bell said he yelled for Cox to swim west away from rip currents passing under a bridge there, and got out of the water to seek help.

When he got out of the water, Cox stopped yelling and Bell could no longer see him, the report said.

Bell reported to an FWC officer that he had lost sight of his friend.

At 3:37 p.m., FWC officer Terry Noll found Cox’s body in the shallow water near the Kingfish ramp.

Noll called for assistance from Manatee Public Safety’s Marine Unit to bring Cox’s body to shore, according to Manatee Public Safety Capt. Larry Leinhauser.