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Warnings about rip currents after swimmer dies off Palm Beach

Posted at 5:04 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 17:04:32-04

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Living in Florida, residents know rip currents can have dire consequences.

There are new warnings out along the coast of Palm Beach Tuesday after one person lost their life and several others had to be rescued on Monday.

There many people at the beach and red danger rip current flags prevented some from going in the water.

Lidia Dafanos and Denise Eggers were enjoying the sunny day, but were being watchful.

"It’s beautiful here, but just be very mindful of the water because it is really strong so I wouldn’t go too deep. Just walk and wet your feet and have a good time," said Dafanos.

"It looks a little rough right now," said Eggers. "Put your feet in, get yourself wet and I think that would be good enough, you know. It’s beautiful here. How can you not want to be at the beach?"

The warnings come after one person died and 5 others were hospitalized after being rescued from rip currents along the coast of Palm Beach Monday afternoon.

Palm Beach police said a total of 6 swimmers were in distress and one swimmer suffered a cardiac arrest and died at the scene.

WPTV meteorologist James Wieland explains this powerful current, "A rip current is basically a channel of water that pushes out. All the waves are coming in, all that water needs to come out. So, it's a channel of water that pulls out. Doesn’t go very far, but it does go beyond the depth of you being able to touch. So, a lot of people get in trouble, when they all of a sudden, can’t touch the ground. How you want to get out of a rip current, is swim to the side, or diagonal. Anything to get out of that river of water to swim to the side, and then it would be easy to walk in and swim in."

Officials say if you find yourself caught in a rip current, do not panic, keep breathing and keep your head above water. If you can’t escape it — call or wave for assistance.