Tragedy struck St. Pete Beach Saturday, October 3 when a boy went missing in shallow water. After two days, the rescue operation moved to one of recovery; a dive team located his body in the morning hours of October 5 on the north tip of Shell Key.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation were all involved in the search.
Nine-year-old Cameron Bullard was last seen on St. Pete Beach playing in ankle-deep water with his brother and several other young family members when they were struck by a large wave.
Cameron, who reportedly could not swim, was pulled out to sea and detectives believe that rough seas, strong currents and poor weather were all factors in his disappearance.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri called it a “very unfortunate incident” and did not blame a lack of supervision or neglect as Cameron’s uncles were monitoring the children.
A witness attempted to rescue the boy but was unable to locate him.
Cameron was a fourth-grade student at Gulf Beaches Elementary School in St. Pete Beach. The school had grief councilors on hand this week to provide support for friends and classmates.
Cameron, the fourth of seven children, was described by loved ones as a “sweet,” outgoing and comedic child.
A GoFundMe account has also been set up to assist the family with funeral costs.
A candlelight vigil will be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. Cameron’s mother and siblings will be meeting on St. Pete Beach at the 18th Avenue access and have stated that all are welcome.