Identity of weekend drowning victim released

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SARASOTA - An extensive search for a missing swimmer ended tragically off Lido Key. Almost twelve hours after he went missing in the waters of Big Pass on the south end of Lido Key, dive teams recovered the body of a missing 19-year-old man.

Sarasota Police identified that swimmer Monday as Steeve Reserve of Sarasota.

Signs posted nearby warn swimmers of the water's danger. Apparently Reserve and his friend ignored those warnings.

The search began Saturday evening, as authorities from the U.S. Coast Guard, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office and Sarasota Police Department trolled the waters, looking for any sign of the missing swimmer.

Witnesses saw the man swimming about a hundred yards offshore, then lost sight of him. "He went underwater and then...then he started drowning and he didn't come out for two minutes."

Rescuers told ABC 7 that many beachgoers may not know just how dangerous these spots can be. "Whether it’s New Pass, Big Pass, anybody that's out swimming or doing any recreational activity needs to be aware the rip currents come through. And they're pretty swift, and it’s pretty easy for them to be taken out."

Police say that Reserve is from Haiti, and has only been in this country approximately 4-6 months.

This is the second time recently that a swimmer has died this way. In April, 6-year-old Lamontea Taylor drowned while swimming in Longboat Pass near Anna Maria Island.

Authorities say most of the time these tragedies can be avoided, by just using common sense. "Bottom line is, one needs to know their own swimming abilities, because the Gulf of Mexico, it’s not like a swimming pool."