Arizona man drowns in rough surf off Cocoa Beach

Updated:

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Officials said an Arizona man drowned while swimming in rough surf off Cocoa Beach on Sunday.

The incident happened in the ocean near the Ocean Landings Resort, according to officials.

Rip currents that have been creating dangerous conditions in the water are being blamed for the man's drowning.

"I tried to see if I could help, he confirmed that he needed help. I tried to hold on with him as long as I could but the waves are just too much," explained witness Melanie Lee.

Police have identified the victim as 66-year-old William Clifford of Tempe, Arizona. Clifford was rushed to Cape Canaveral Hospital, where he later died.

Officials in both Volusia and Brevard County said they've had to rescue dozens of people from the rough water this weekend.