Elderly couple caught in rip current drowns
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A day at the beach led to tragedy for an elderly couple after they were swept away by a rip current, one of several incidents on South Florida shores Sunday that brought lifeguards and Good Samaritans out into the water.
"They just rolled around the waves," said Nichole, a young girl who saw the victims swimming on the beach around Collins Avenue and 64th Street, moments before they went under water.
Good Samaritans, along with Ocean Rescue, went in to try and save the swimmers. "There was a man who was drowning, and a lifeguard went in to help him," said Good Samaritan Maiykol Lacorte in Spanish. Lacorte said he also attempted to reach the elderly man, which is when he saw a woman struggling in the water. Rescuers were able to reach the couple and pull them out of the water.
"They were in cardiac arrest," said Miami Beach Fire Rescue Capt. Adonis Garcia. Police and paramedics drew a large crowd as they did their best to save the victims.
"They tried to rescue [them] time and time and time [again], and they couldn't," said witness Marcades Garro.
Kelly, another young girl who witnessed the incident with Nichole, watched as paramedics performed CPR on the male victim. "His stomach was full of water, and his hands were full of water," she said.
Fire rescue continued working on the victims as they were rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital, but it was to no avail. "We worked [to revive] them all the way to the hospital, Mount Sinai, where they [were] pronounced dead," said Garcia.
Lacorte said what happened to the victims was very unfortunate. "Nobody deserves to die this way," he said through a translator. "It must have been terrible."
Red and purple flags warning swimmers of rough surf and dangerous marine life were raised up and down South Florida beaches all weekend long, but the deterrents did not prevent lifeguards from pulling dozens of people from rip currents on Sunday. Miami Beach Fire Rescue officials said at least 50 swimmers were rescued.
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