MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A day at the beach took a tragic turn when, officials said, a man visiting from Fort Myers got caught in a rip current on Miami Beach while trying to render aid to his wife.
Miami Beach Fire Rescue responded to a 911 call about the incident on the beach, near 23rd Street, just after 2 p.m.
According to investigators, the 34-year-old victim and his wife were swimming along the shore when the rip currents picked up. The man tried to help his wife when she began to drown, but moments later, he was swept away.
Miami Beach resident James Quinlas said he’s used to seeing choppy seas. “We get currents like these from time to time so, you know, you take care,” he said, “but I could see if you’re out of town, maybe that would be something that you wouldn’t be familiar with.”
Cellphone video captured the chaotic moments the man was pulled from the water unresponsive as beachgoers crowded around and stared in disbelief. By the time rescue crews arrived, he was unconscious and not breathing.
“Something that should have been a memorable vacation turned into a horrible event,” said Miami resident Rey Mendez.
Paramedics administered CPR as the man was rushed to Mount Sinai Medical Center, but they were unable to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
“It’s devastating,” said Jessica Roeder, who is visiting Miami Beach from Indiana. “You’re trying to help your wife out, and you end up dying,” she said. “I can only imagine what’s going through her head right now.”
The victim’s wife was not hurt.
Officials have not released the man’s name.
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