MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The body of a man who disappeared while swimming off Miami Beach with his daughter was recovered Thursday morning.
“Around 9:45 they found the body. I saw two ships over there and saw them jump into the water, so I figured they found him,” said Adela Piller who watched from the beach.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
On Wednesday, Kirk Munguia, 42, and his 11-year-old daughter were swimming near 54th Street an hour before sunset when they realized they were trouble.
A witness told police Munguia and his daughter were on a raft about 200 feet from shore when a wave came over it and knocked both of them into the water. He said Munguia kept trying to put the girl back on the raft, but the waves kept knocking her into the water. He said he swam out to help them and was able to pull the child to shore.
Ariela Romero Velazquez, 49, from Hialeah-year-old man dove in and <a href=”https://cbsloc.al/31CUd9O” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>tried to save the Munguia</a>, but he couldn’t make it. His unconscious body was pulled from the water by Ocean Rescue and taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center where he died a short time after arrival. ”He’s a very loved man by his friends,” said Romero’s son Ariel Romero Garcia. “He’s always trying to help everyone else. He’s really a good guy,” he said.
Romero’s son and the whole family are devastated, but take some comfort knowing he was trying to save a life, when he lost his own.
“I’m relieved that he was trying to save the family, It hurts because he was my dad but I’m relieved that if he did pass away, that he passed away helping someone else and doing something good,” he said.
“The first body recovered was his, he went out to help. He saw the two people in trouble. He gave his life to help the others,” said Miami Beach Ocean Rescue Chief Vincent Canosa.READ MORE: Leftover From Hurricane Dorian, 58 Strays From The Bahamas Make Their Way To South Florida
Several police and fire rescue agencies, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, searched into the night looking for Munguia.
Thursday morning, his body was located by Ocean Rescue using a drone and it brought ashore near 55th Street.
“How sad, how sad. My heart goes out to those people,” said Shifa Isaacs.
Ocean Rescue said when this all happened the water with very rough with strong rip currents.
“We had many, many rescues yesterday. We probably had at least 40 I believe. It was a day you wouldn’t have been out in the water if you weren’t a good swimmer,” said Canosa.
A red flag warning was flying on the beach indicating dangerous conditions like high surf and or strong currents.
His advice, know the water conditions and make sure someone is nearby to help if you need it.MORE NEWS: Fatal Tamarac Shooting Under Investigation
“Always swim near a lifeguard, that’s the golden rule. You won’t have that problem if you’re in front of a lifeguard. And unfortunately, they were right in between two lifeguards, out of sight, out of distance,” said Canosa.