More return currents expected off Daytona Beach: 2 rescued from drowning

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Flagler County Fire Rescue Marine Unit rescued two people from drowning after they became caught in a return current Wednesday near the Hammock Beach Resort. And officials warn of more dangerous reverse currents this week.

Firefighters responded to a call at 11:31 a.m. after resort workers heard people calling for help on the beach, according to a press release from Flagler County Public Information Officer Julie Murphy .

Lt. Drew Hardesty of the Flagler County Fire Department was the first to arrive and saw three bathers in the water trying to help a man who had passed the break and was about 10 feet of water, the statement said. . Two of the three realized they weren’t strong enough swimmers and returned to shore, the statement said.

Tragedy in the ocean:10-year-old drowns in a rip current off Daytona Beach

Dangerous waters:Volusia Beach Safety Officials Warn Beach Goers About Dangerous Reverse Currents

But the man who was initially in trouble and the remaining potential rescuer were both in trouble, the statement said.

Hardesty grabbed a flotation device and went to the distressed swimmer, who stayed afloat while holding onto it. The other man said he didn’t need help.

Flagler County Firefighter Marine Rescue Unit swimmer John Raffo and Hardesty helped pull the two through the waves and back to shore, the statement said.

“The [initial] Mister was placed on a beach lounge chair where paramedics examined him extensively as we now fear a secondary type of drowning due to too much salt water being sucked in, ”said Hardesty in the press release. “The gentleman was adamant that he was fine and didn’t want to be rushed to the hospital, and just wanted to relax.”

Image used by Volusia Ocean Rescue to illustrate what a swimmer caught in a rip current can do to try to escape.

Firefighters continued to monitor his vital signs and lung sounds until his vital signs normalized after exercise and he was stable.

“He was extremely grateful and happy to be out of the water,” said Hardesty. “He told us he was swimming and got caught in the recurrent trying to swim back. After struggling to move forward he became very tired and found that ‘he needed help or feared the worst. “

Rip currents account for 80% of lifeguard emergencies nationwide, the statement said.

Hurricane Sam Brings Dangerous Surfing Conditions to Florida Coast

Flagler County Emergency Management Specialist Bob Pickering said in a video tweet that while Hurricane Sam is not a direct threat, it would still generate 2-5 foot waves with possibly waves. be larger, as well as return currents.

“There is a high risk of dangerous reverse currents that are going to stay with us throughout the weekend,” Pickering said.

Pickering said only experienced ocean swimmers who know how to escape a rip current should venture into the ocean in the next few days.

A 10-year-old boy died on Saturday after being caught in a backwash in Daytona Beach. It was two days after a 58-year-old man was found face down in the surf near the Daytona Beach bandshell.

How to escape a reverse current

The Volusia Beach Safety Website offers some tips for beachgoers who find themselves caught in a rip current:

  • If you get caught in a reverse current, stay calm and don’t fight the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, then swim to the shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the current, float calmly or place the water on a standstill. If you can’t make it to shore, draw attention to yourself by waving or shouting for help.
  • If you see someone in trouble, don’t also become a victim. Throw something floating at the person. Get help from a lifeguard or call 911.


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