Liveaboard boater dies after water rescue

drowning Bradenton Beach
A live-aboard boater was found unconscious and floating in the water Saturday morning near the “dinghy dock” and the historic Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – Liveaboard boater and anchorage resident Brandon Nieuwkoop, 52, died the afternoon of Saturday, March 31 after being pulled from Anna Maria Sound waters near the historic Bradenton Beach Pier.

Brandon Nieuwkoop passed away this afternoon after being pulled from the water near the historic Bradenton Beach Pier.

According to Lt. John Cosby of the Bradenton Beach Police Department, liveaboard boater Mark Hill was in his dinghy and headed toward the public dock near the Bridge Tender Inn – known as the “dinghy dock” – at approximately 11:48 a.m. when he spotted a body floating in the water.

Hill’s dinghy capsized as he tried to pull Nieuwkoop from the water, but bystanders jumped into the water and came to the two men’s assistance.

According to Cosby, Nieuwkoop still had a pulse and someone on shore administered CPR until EMS personnel arrived and transported him to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton. At 2:12 p.m., Cosby notified The Sun that Nieuwkoop had passed away at the hospital.

“We don’t have any idea what happened to him,” Cosby said of the circumstances that led to Nieuwkoop being in the water.

Cosby said Nieuwkoop had been going through some personal issues and had also been dealing with some health problems.