Authorities identified a Minnesota man who drowned Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico as Ian Johnson of Woodbury.

Johnson, 44, was swimming in waters off of Destin, Fla., with his son when witnesses say he became distressed, according to Okaloosa County public information officer Michele Nicholson. She said she was not aware of any warnings about the water conditions Thursday.

Deputies were called to the beach around 3:20 p.m., according to a Friday news release from the sheriff’s office. When they arrived, Johnson had been pulled from the water unconscious and lifeguards were trying to resuscitate him.

He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the release said. Nicholson said the medical examiner will determine Johnson’s cause of death.


Anne Millerbernd is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.