Rip currents take the lives of six individuals across Florida beaches

Author: Lauren Kreidler
Published: Updated:

Three separate incidents along Florida beaches have led to six people dying within a week after getting caught in rip currents.

The first drownings happened on Thursday along Stuart Beach in Martin County. According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, 51-year-old Brian Warter and 48-year-old Erica Wisharda, and two teen children were swept out by a rip current.

rip current
CREDIT: Martin County Sheriff’s Office

The children made it safely to shore while the parents drowned. The couple and their 6 children were on vacation.

In a separate incident, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office reported on Friday evening that three young men entered the Gulf near Panama City Beach before being swept away by a rip current and dying. Their identities have not been released yet.

On Thursday, a 19-year-old man visiting from Oklahoma was caught in a rip current and also drowned off of Panama City Beach.

“While we are not expecting a high risk of rip currents along our local beaches, we do, at times, experience rip currents in our waters,” explained The Weather Authority Meteorologist Lauren Kreidler.

The risk is high for many locations on the East Coast and northern Gulf Coast beaches.

If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore to break from the current. If you cannot do so, float and wave your arms to get the attention of bystanders. Swim at guarded beaches and do not enter the water if there is a high risk of rip currents.

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