A rip current has killed a man at a Volusia County beach.
A 61-year-old Michigan man died Wednesday after he was caught by a rip current in Ormond by-the-Sea. The man was pulled from the water and declared dead shortly after 7 p.m.
Over 70 people were rescued from the beach in the county Wednesday. Only the man who died was taken to the hospital.
Rip current risks have been high this week, first due to Hurricane Chris, which increased the swells and surf. The threat for life-threatening rip currents will continue to be high due to the remnants of moving parallel to Florida to the north-northeast, following Chris' footsteps.
Rip currents kill an average of 57 people in the U.S. every year. These deaths could have been prevented if victims would have known what to do. Florida has 570 beaches and 1,197 miles of coastline.
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Rip currents can occur along all coasts, during any season.
A rip current is a strong channel of water flowing from near the coast out past the surf zone. This powerful current can pull the strongest swimmer into the deep waters.
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It is best to avoid going in the water when rip currents are a threat, even a low threat. Always check with lifeguards and learn what each flag means.
If you are caught in a rip current:
- Do not panic.
- Do not try to swim back to the coast -- you will be swimming against the strong current and will become tired quickly.
- The current will become weaker as it moves offshore. Swim parallel to the coast.
- Once out of the current, you can swim back toward the shore.
Learn to recognize rip currents along the coast. Many times, rip currents can be spotted when standing on the shore looking toward the water.
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