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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Gainesville resident's body recovered

The body of Gainesville resident Barry Bernard was found Monday after a day of searching near the Matanzas Inlet in St. Johns County where he was last seen Sunday afternoon.

At around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Bernard, 25, and his friend Ashley Crandall were swimming with boogie boards at Summer Haven Beach, 14 miles south of St. Augustine, said St. Johns County Sheriff's Department spokesman Kevin Kelshaw.

Kelshaw said the two were "pretty far out in rough, choppy waters."

According to Bernard's girlfriend, Carolyn Kimbro, Bernard lost his boogie board when the board's leash snapped.

Crandall, a trained lifeguard, tried to help him, but the two were separated by the rough waves.

According to Kimbro, who was at the beach at the time of the incident, it took Crandall 45 minutes to swim to shore because of the conditions.

"She almost didn't make it back because the current was so bad," Kimbro said in a phone interview Monday.

A search continued for Bernard until his body was spotted at around 11:15 a.m. Monday by a public service assistant.

Kelshaw said Bernard's body was taken to a medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

Friends are planning to hold a memorial bicycle ride later this week in Bernard's honor.

Bernard graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2007.

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