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Rip current warning signs keep Stuart beachgoers out of waters

Martin County Fire Rescue said there have been 13 water rescues since the start of the year
Patricia and Steve Lochner
Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 20, 2024

STUART, Fla. — Dangerous conditions in Stuart Beach called for rip current safety signs, and kept many beach visitors out of the waters.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office confirmed two people died Thursday near the ocean off Stuart Beach on Hutchinson Island after getting caught in a rip current.

The Lochners from Palm City noticed the strong waves when walking through Stuart Beach Thursday afternoon.

“Patricia and I sailed around the world for 15 years," shared Steve Lochner. "We pay attention to the weather and we expected this. We have great respect for mother nature.”

Between the double red flags and strong waves, the Lochners decided to avoid taking a dip in the ocean, especially after a family rip-current scare years ago.

“About five years ago my son and grandson were here and he was a teenager at the time," said Patricia Lochner. "They decided to go out and they got caught in a rip tide and pulled out and they had to swim quite a ways out before they could turn and safely come back in.”

Lifeguards rescue two swimmers near the 00 block of Northeast Tradewind Lane on Stuart Beach on June 20, 2024.jpg

Region Martin County

TRAGIC: 2 dead after getting caught in rip current off Stuart Beach

Matt Papaycik
2:10 PM, Jun 20, 2024

WPTV's Zitlali Solache spoke to swim instructors in Martin County about the dangers of rip currents, and how to stay safe.

“It’s very important to realize just how dangerous that they can be," said Aryane Marchant with Stuart's Fish Tails Swim School. "Because rip currents can come out of nowhere.”

Marchant informs those in an emergency situation to stay calm. She said struggling or being in distress through the rip tide makes it harder to get out of it.

Aryane Marchant of Fish Tails Swim School
Aryane Marchant of Fish Tails Swim School says rip currents can come out of nowhere.

“It could happen to just anyone in Martin County, it could happen to anybody," stated Marchant. "We will always want to make sure that even if you’re not the best swimmer, like an Olympian, just knowing how to float on your back and knowing those simple rescue skills, they can really save a life.”

Swim instructors also suggest to look out for any warnings.

“If we’re going to the beach," said Marchant, "to always make sure you’re looking at the flags at the beach.”

Martin County Fire Rescue officials said there have been 13 water rescues since the start of the year, not including Thursday's drowning incident.