Outdoor adventurer Terry Tomalin passes away

Posted at 12:13 PM, May 20, 2016

Terry Tomalin was an outdoor adventurer who lived and breathed all the beauty that Florida had to offer.

The Tampa Bay Times Outdoor Editor and ABC Action News contributor passed away suddenly yesterday from a heart attack.  He was 55.

For several years, Terry Tomalin was a regular contributor to our ABC Action News weekend morning show.  We created a segment with Terry called "Everyday Adventures with Terry Tomalin."

ABC Action News Chief Photographer Eric Moore was shaken by the news of his sudden death.

"I did the first show segment with him and worked with him for three years. He used to always bring his son with him on our shoots," Eric said. "I'm just blown away, and I couldn't sleep last night."

Eric won a Emmy award for a story about Snapper Season that he shot with Terry. 

"I'm not really into awards and it was the only time I entered the Emmy awards and I won two Emmy’s for shooting and editing for our story," Eric said.

Some of Eric's favorite stories that he shot with Terry were about stand-up paddle boarding, the opening of clam season and swimming with the manatees.  

Elizabeth Gold, was the ABC Action News Executive producer who helped bring Terry to our weekend morning show.

“I gasped and was completely shocked and instantly sad when I heard the news," she said. "The first time we shot an Everyday Adventure story was in Homosassa Springs. It was obvious from the beginning he was meant to be outdoors. He loved showing off Florida and just wanted people to be outside and enjoy where we live.  He was so genuine and always inviting my family and me to come out with him on our shoots."

Frank Barrera is another ABC Action News photographer who frequently shot with Terry.

"He was an incredibly nice guy with a great love of the outdoors. He always greeted you with a handshake and a smile and I'll miss working with him"

Terry even wrote a book about all the amazing adventures he had exploring Florida.  The booking not only highlights Terry’s favorite outdoor adventures, but offers tips and suggestions on exploring the state’s beauty on your own.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Tomalin was at the North Shore Aquatic Center in St. Pete taking a life guard test with his son.  He collapsed and never regained consciousness. Terry's wife is St Pete Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin.

Read some of Terry's work for the Tampa Bay Times here. Here are some of Terry's Everyday Adventures from our weekend morning show:

Standup Paddle boarding on the Homosassa River

Egmont Key

Snook Fishing

Fishing Adventure

Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park

Scalloping 101

Barracuda Fishing


Exploring the Manatee River

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary

Ft Desoto Park