ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Two swimmers died and dozens had to be rescued from strong rip currents along much of Florida's eastern coast on Saturday and Sunday.
A 30-year-old Georgia man drowned Saturday while swimming in Ormond Beach in Volusia County. The man with a friend when they apparently got pulled into a rip current.
An off-duty lifeguard pulled the man out of the water, Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue Capt. Tammy Marris told the Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/13uJD3G ). He was taken to Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Centre in Daytona Beach where he was pronounced dead.
The man's friend, a woman also from Georgia, did not have to be hospitalized. Neither has been identified.
"She was fine, physically," Marris said.
According to Marris, 67 people were pulled from the water in Volusia County on Saturday due to dangerous rip currents. Another 20 had to be rescued on Friday and 80 the day before, the Fourth of July.
The National Weather Service said a high risk for rip currents remains in place through Sunday for areas including Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Volusia counties. An onshore flow pushed a fresh swell in the local Atlantic water, allowing rip currents to develop in east central Florida.
Officials advised swimmers to pay attention to flags and posted signs, and heed the warnings of lifeguards. Rip tides can be dangerous even for experienced ocean swimmers. If caught in a rip current, authorities advise swimmers to remain calm and begin swimming parallel to the shore.
On Florida's western coast, 14-year-old Dushay Morales of Winter Haven was swimming with his younger brother near Anna Maria Island, about 20 miles northwest of Sarasota, when he disappeared Saturday afternoon.
A family member saw the teen and his 12-year-old brother struggling, and was able to rescue the younger sibling, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
But the older boy was then swept away by a powerful rip current.
Deputies searched for Morales until it got dark and resumed their search the next day. They found the teen's body Sunday morning in the Gulf.
Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow said the boys had been in knee-deep water.
"These rip currents can be very dangerous and he probably got caught up in one and tried to fight it," Bristow told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (http://bit.ly/16h4Hpg ).
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