MIAMI (CBS4) – Strong rip currents along Miami Beach are blamed for the death of one man and sending two others to the hospital.
According to Miami Beach Fire Rescue Chief Javier Otero, four men were in the water off 5th Street and Ocean Drive when they got caught in the strong current. A lifeguard spotted two of the men in obvious distress and pulled them to safety. They told the lifeguard that two other men were still out there.
Lifeguards went back into the water and found them, one man was found floating under the water, according to Otero.
In video from Chopper 4, paramedics could be seen trying to revive the man before he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
Three of the men were rushed to the hospital where one of them died. No word on the conditions of the other two men.
Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beach goers. Every year in the US, rip currents cause over 100 drownings and account for more than 80-percent of all beach water rescues. In Florida, rip currents kill more people annually than thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes combined.
Because rip currents can occur on any beach with breaking waves, everyone should know the basics of how to survive a rip current:
The best survival tip is prevention. Avoid swimming in beaches when rip current advisories are in effect.
Swim only at guarded beaches during lifeguard duty hours, and ask them about surf conditions before entering the water.
Never swim alone, the buddy system works. Keep an extra careful watch on children and elderly swimmers.
If you do get caught in a rip current, remain calm and don’t try to swim against the current. Instead, swim out of the current in a perpendicular direction, following the shoreline. Once you are out of the current, swim back to shore.
If you cannot swim out of the current, float or lightly tread water to conserve your energy until you are out of the current, then swim to shore.
If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard or call 9-1-1. Many people drown while trying to save others from a rip current.