ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. -- A 55-year-old man drowned Saturday morning after he collapsed while operating the Sun Sports parasail boat.

Thomas M. Howell of Gulfport was operating the boat about 300 yards off shore when he suffered an apparent medical episode, fell into the water and was found unconscious a short time later, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Another employee reeled in the boat's customer, and then began circling to look for Howell. Jet skis helped locate Howell, who was in the water for 5 to 10 minutes.

Howell was moved to a location behind the TradeWinds Island Resort and CPR was started. St. Petersburg Beach Fire Department arrived and took over life-saving measures.

Howell was transported to Palms of Pasadena Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

He was not wearing a lifejacket.