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Ex-NASA astronaut killed in jet ski accident

Alan Poindexter, a former US Navy captain and two-time shuttle astronaut, died in a jet ski accident in Pensacola, Florida, NASA said.

Image

STS-131 commander Alan Poindexter poses for a photo in the Cupola of the International Space Station in this NASA file photograph on April 17, 2010. Former astronaut Alan Poindexter died in a water sports accident in Florida on July 1, 2012, NASA confirmed.

NASA/Files/Reuters

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Alan Poindexter, a two-time shuttle astronaut, has died after a jet ski accident in Pensacola, Florida, NASA said on Monday.

“"The NASA family was sad to learn of the passing of our former friend and colleague Alan Poindexter," NASA wrote in a Facebook post. “"Our thought and hearts are with his family."

Poindexter, 50, was riding jet skis with his two sons in Little Sabine Bay at Pensacola Beach on Sunday when the accident occurred, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Pensacola News Journal.

Poindexter's older son, who is 26, crashed into the jet ski that Poindexter shared with his 22-year-old son, the newspaper reported.

The impact knocked Poindexter off the jet ski. He was pulled from the water and taken to the beach where friends attempted to revive him.

Poindexter was then flown by helicopter to Baptist Hospital where he later died from his injuries, the newspaper reported.

Poindexter's sons were not injured in the accident, which is under investigation.

Poindexter, who went by the nickname "Dex," made two space flights during his career with NASA. In February 2008, he was the pilot aboard the shuttle Atlantis on a mission to deliver the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory module to the International Space Station.

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