USF student drowns in apartment pool

USF student Sharath Gottimukkula died June 1 when he drowned in the pool at his apartment complex.

Two unnamed witnesses found Gottimukkula, who was from India, in the bottom of the pool at Campus Walk Apartments, said Lt. Rod Reder, spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department.

Reder said the witnesses called 911 and performed CPR on Gottimukkula before he was transported to University Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“It was a drowning with no suspicious indications,” Reder said.

Even though the drowning was ruled accidental, the case is not yet closed due to the fact that the toxicology report has not yet been completed.

Dr. Bernard Adams of UCH said the report could take about three to five weeks to complete the report.

Adams said the only thing he found unusual was that Gottimukkula didn’t know how to swim.

Gottimukkula, 21, had been at USF since 2000 and was majoring in medical engineering.

A service for Gottimukkula was held June 10 and was organized by International Student Services, along with the International Students from India.

“(It is) very unfortunate and sad,” said Catherine Seybold, assistant director of International Student and Scholar Services.

Seybold said about 70 people, most of them international students, attended the service. Gottimukkula’s parents, however, were unable to attend because they could not obtain visas. Gottimukkula’s body was transported back to India shortly after the ceremony.