Capt. Alan G. Poindexter was on the rear of a stationary jet ski with his 22-year-old son, Samuel, in the front, when his 26-year-old son, Zachary, who was on a separate motorized craft, crashed into them.
Poindexter and Samuel were thrown into the water in Little Sabine Bay, which is off Pensacola Beach.
Poindexter was transported by Lifeflight helicopter to Baptist Hospital after the 1:30 p.m. Sunday. He later died at the hospital.
Samuel and Zachary did not suffer any injuries.
Poindexter, who piloted the Atlantis space shuttle in 2008, graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. He obtained his masters from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1986.
Following a military service, Dex, as the astronaut was called by his friends, was selected by NASA in 1998. He made his first trip into space in 2002 to the International Space Station.
After retiring from NASA in December 2010 Poindexter took a job as dean of students at the Naval Postgraduate School where he had graduated in 1995.