Dozens rescued from rip currents in Brevard and Volusia counties

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

Nine people had to be rescued from strong rip currents in Brevard County Sunday.

That makes a total of 13 so far this weekend.

Officials said rip currents have accelerated and the weekend’s boat races have made it worse.

“Kept me under water most of the time. I couldn’t get up above the water,” said Melbourne resident Trace Stokes.

The annual speed boat races drew thousands into the area.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue officials said lateral currents kept pulling people into the pier.

“Things have gotten a little bit worse. We don’t expect it to get much worse from here,” Eisen Wichter said.

Whicter said the big crowds and rough surf have forced Beach Rescue to add more staffing.

“With the summer season coming along, it’s the perfect time for use to gear up. We did add a little bit of extra staffing to handle the extra population at the beaches,” he said.

Volusia County beaches were also busy throughout the weekend.

Beach Patrol there had to rescue 41 people.