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Couple drowns in rip current in Florida while on vacation with their six children

Couple drowns in rip current in Florida while on vacation with their six children

Couple drowns in rip current in Florida while on vacation with their six children

Martin County Sheriff’s Office

A couple drowned off the coast of Hutchinson Island, Florida, on Thursday after becoming trapped in a rip current, according to authorities.



cnn

A Pennsylvania couple drowned after being swept away by a rip current Thursday off the coast of Hutchinson Island, Florida, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

The couple went swimming Thursday afternoon with two of their teenage children when they ran into trouble while in the water, authorities said.

The sheriff’s office identified Brian Warter, 51, and his partner, Erica Wishard, 48, as the victims. They were traveling with three children each and were part of a family of eight vacationing in Florida, the sheriff’s office told CNN affiliate WPEC.

“According to our witnesses, they walked right into a rip current and were immediately overpowered by the power of the ocean,” Deputy Chief John Budensiek told CNN affiliate WPBF.

The teens were able to free themselves from the current and attempted to help the adults, but when it became too dangerous they were forced to swim to shore, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

“They are teenagers. They are not even 20 years old yet. They have gone through two dramatic scenarios,” Budensiek told WPEC.

Despite the efforts of Martin County Ocean Rescue, paramedics and doctors at Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital, the couple could not be saved.

The children were under the watch of the Martin County Sheriff’s Crisis Intervention Team while they waited for other family members to arrive in Florida.

“They were on the beach and saw how (the parents) drowned. They observed resuscitation efforts on the beach. “They were in the hospital observing some resuscitation efforts, so they are extremely traumatized,” Budensiek added, according to WPEC.

Rip currents are localized currents that flow from the coast into the ocean, and a person caught in them, even a very strong swimmer, can be swept away from shore very quickly, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The United States Life Saving Association says rip currents typically form on sandbars and near structures such as jetties and docks, and account for more than 80% of rescues by surf beach lifeguards.