VERO BEACH, Fla. - Daniel DuBois has been skimboarding for years.
"I just come out here to have fun," he said.
The Sebastian resident said Vero Beach has great surfing conditions, but he admits it can be rough for swimmers when rip currents kick up.
"It's very risky, and I'm a strong swimmer myself," said DuBois. "But there are times when I feel myself getting pulled out there."
DuBois saw Saturday's rescue efforts for 22-year-old Christopher Milfort from Hawaii. Milfort was swept out to sea on Friday evening.
"I saw the helicopter, the Coast Guard boats going out," recalled DuBois.
Vero Beach Police Lieutenant Matthew Monaco said witnesses reported hearing Miltfort making a call for help.
"Looking out into the surf," said Monaco. "Seeing an individual with dark skin, seeing his head, his arm, and then waves crash over the top of him."
Monaco said when the call came in for the missing swimmer at 6:14 p.m., it was only one hour after the lifeguard had left for the day.
The Coast Guard could not say for sure whether Milfort got caught in a rip current.
Police will return to the beach access points early Monday morning, sweeping the scene in ATVs.
For DuBois, it's a wakeup call, one that he hopes other beach-goers will heed.
"They should just be aware, be on their toes," said DuBois. "If you see a red flag, and you think you're not a good enough swimmer, don't go swimming in the water, you know? If you don't feel comfortable, don't go out."