CLEARWATER, Fla. - BREAKING UPDATE:
Crews have called of the search for James Poindexter Wednesday afternoon.
After several intense hours, crews suspended the search for a missing 27-year-old father of four who disappeared Monday afternoon in the waters off Sand Key. The search resumed Tuesday morning.
The family of James Poindexter told ABC Action News he was walking in the water near the Clearwater Sailing Center off Gulf Blvd. Monday afternoon when something went terribly wrong. He was reportedly about 40 yards from shore.
"He just kept going under and coming back up and just asking please, please help me - please, please help me, and we couldn't get there," said Selina Sierra, Poindexter's mother-in-law.
According to Clearwater Police, Poindexter's family tried to help, but were unable to locate him.
According to Sierra, Poindexter is a basketball coach at the Boys & Girls Club in Spring Hill. She said he is not a strong swimmer.
Until sunset on Monday, rescue crews used a helicopter, boats with side sonar, and dive teams to search for Poindexter in the water near the Clearwater Pass Bridge.
"We're going to continue the operation for quite some time on the surface and below the surface," said Richard Riley, Clearwater Fire and Rescue Operations Chief. "Hopefully it's going to be a good outcome, but we'll be here for the duration."
Clearwater Fire and Rescue, Clearwater Police, the Coast Guard and the Pinellas County Sheriff's helicopter assisted in the search.
Sierra said Poindexter is the father of four children, ages 8, 6, 2, and 1.