Pensacola, Florida-- A retired NASA astronaut died Sunday afternoon following a jet ski crash in Little Sabine Bay at Pensacola Beach, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported.
Capt. Alan G. Poindexter, 51, had been riding on a jet ski with his 22-year-old son Samuel. At about 1:30 p.m., Poindexter and his son were sitting still on the jet ski when Poindexter's oldest son, 26-year-old Zachary, crashed into them on a separate jet ski.
"Zachary hit the rear of the jet ski the father and his brother were on," said Stan Kirkland, an FWC public information officer. "Capt. Poindexter was then knocked off his jet ski."
Poindexter was pulled from the water onto a boat and driven to a nearby beach where friends performed CPR on him.
He was then taken by Lifeflight to Baptist Hospital where he later died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Poindexter's sons were not injured in the accident, Kirkland said. The FWC has launched an investigation into the crash.
"We get involved anytime there's a boating accident," Kirkland said. "So we're conducting an investigation, and that's where we're at right now."
Poindexter received his associate degree in engineering in 1983 at Pensacola Junior College, now known as Pensacola State College. He went on to Georgia Tech, where he graduated with highest honors in 1986 with a bachelor's degree of aerospace engineering.
From there, he was stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station for flight training.
In his career with NASA, he piloted the Atlantis space shuttle in 2008 to deliver the Columbus module to the International Space Station. Columbus is a 23-foot-long, $2 billion cylindrical science lab.