msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6/24/2010 10:04:35 AM ET 2010-06-24T14:04:35

A man who apparently passed out on a pool float at a Tampa area beach ended up drifting about a mile from Florida's shore in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the man on Wednesday afternoon.

Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Mariana O'Leary told the St. Petersburg Times they suspect the man was very drunk.

The Coast Guard says a boater reported seeing an unconscious man floating well offshore. The Coast Guard and a Clearwater Fire Rescue unit responded and found the man, still unconscious and wearing a life jacket.

He eventually woke up and was checked by paramedics at a Coast Guard station.

"The message here is this guy got lucky. He got really lucky," O'Leary told the paper. "Depending on what the tides and currents are doing, he could have never been seen again."

O'Leary said the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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