New signs put up on Blind Pass Beach after teen’s drowning

Author: Annette Montgomery Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

New signs have been placed on Blind Pass Beach a week after a teen went missing and his remains were found.

“Anytime you’re in the ocean, there’s going to be waves and currents. Waves can create currents, and waves are dangerous in themselves because they make swimming so much more difficult. And in an area like Blind Pass, there are also strong tidal currents,” said James Douglass, a professor of Marine Science at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Even before the tragic passing of 17-year-old Issac Breese, who was pulled out of the water last Thursday, The City of Sanibel knew they had to warn beachgoers of the specific dangers of these waters.

“If you’re in the water, and there are storms brewing like there are now, you’re going to see more severe weather, and you’re going to see those waves and those currents,” said Dariana Molina, communications manager for the American Red Cross South Florida region.

If you’re wondering just how dangerous rip currents are, take a look at this chart from the National Weather Service:

Their data shows so far, in 2024, 21 people have died from rip currents in U.S. waters, with 9 of them being right here in Florida.

“Certain places like around inlets are especially dangerous,” said Douglass. “The best thing to do is not to swim in those areas, particularly if you’re unsure of the currents or if it looks like a rough day. Anytime you can see waves, there are going to be stronger and more unpredictable currents in the ocean.”

If you do swim in the ocean and find yourself caught in a rip current, there are ways to safely navigate out of it.

“If you can’t resist swimming in rough or unknown waters, a lifejacket flotation aid like that is helpful,” said Douglass. “Focus on staying afloat and try to swim parallel to the shore until you can get to a spot where you can swim back to shore so stay calm.”

“If you’re unable to get out of the current, then you would wave and call for help,” said Molina.

With this signage on Blind Pass Beach, you may wonder if you can go into the water, and the answer is yes.

These signs are warnings for the areas where the current is particularly strong, like underneath the bridge where Sanibel and Captiva waterways intersect.

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