How to survive if you get caught in a rip current
Emergency workers rescued five people from the ocean on Sunday after they were caught in rip currents along Miami Beach, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.
“5 water rescues already today at #MiamiBeach,” the NWS posted on Twitter about 2:15 p.m. “Dangerous rip currents are occurring! Please stay safe and follow the directions of lifeguards and Ocean Rescue officials.”
Hordes of visitors enjoying sunny weather and a long Memorial Day weekend clogged Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive Saturday and Sunday. Thousands enjoyed the military-themed Air & Sea Show and downed alcoholic beverages to beat the heat.
Forecasters warned tourists and residents earlier this week about the high risk of rip currents along the beaches of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. A rip current risk remains in effect through Monday, according to the weather service, and there will be an “elevated risk of rip currents at the Atlantic beaches for most of the week.”
Miami Beach will see sunny weather Monday with a high of 81 degrees, according to the NWS.
Miami Beach Ocean Rescue Chief Vincent Canosa said rescuers responded to two incidents near the water off Lincoln Road at 11:35 a.m. and noon, and another earlier in the day near Sixth Street.
“Nothing really serious,” he said. “They were exhausted, had trouble making it in.”
Canosa said bout 87,500 people visited Miami Beach Saturday, with 57,281 concentrated between the jetty off South Beach and 24th Street.
“The more people on the beach, the more people possibly in the water,” he said. “So the percentages are against you.”
Given those odds, he said the number of rescues Sunday were fortunately low. On-duty lifeguards have maintained a watchful eye on the shoreline and routinely whistle swimmers in, he said.
With the Air & Sea Show going on, Canosa said many visitors to the beach were relaxing on the sand. He said 75 lifeguards are working Memorial Day weekend on extended shifts.
“Fortunately they’re watching the show and not too many are in the water,” he said.
The warnings are not limited to Florida.
A man in North Carolina died Saturday after he and his wife became caught in a rip current off the Outer Banks, according to North Carolina news station WSOC-TV.