Scottish man dies in Seagrove Beach

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 04:13 PM.

A Seagrove Beach man was taping a storm rolling in over the Gulf of Mexico from his balcony Aug. 18 when he noticed people splashing and yelling out near the second sandbar.

The man, who did not want his name used, kept the camera rolling as a dune buggy rolled up and two lifeguards headed out to recover the body of a 47-year-old visitor from Scotland. 

The victim was identified as Edwin Gerald Smart, according the Walton County Sheriff’s Office incident report. Sheriff''s Office spokeswoman Catherine Rodriguez said he was from Scotland. 

Smart had been playing in the water about 100 yards from shore with his 9- and 13-year-old sons just before noon, according to the WCSO incident report.

His sons told a deputy that their father began to struggle to stay above water. One of the boys tried to help his father but couldn’t keep him from going under, the report said.

When Smart surfaced, he was floating facedown, the boys said.

They swam back to shore and asked people to help find their father, but no one could locate him.

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