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Ocean rescue crews save 22 from Brevard waters

Lifeguards continue to warn of rip current danger

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Fire Rescue says crews pulled 22 people from the ocean Monday.

While lifeguards talked to News 6 about beautiful weather and nice beach conditions, they continued to warn about rip current dangers.

"We still have a lingering swell from Tropical Storm Bonnie, which is creating potential for rip currents," said Derek Swor, with Brevard County Ocean Rescue.

Yellow flags lined most Brevard beaches on Memorial Day, in contrast with closed beaches Sunday, such as Melbourne Beach, where a 20-year-old Kissimmee man drowned.

Lifeguards say the man died after swimming out into a rip current.

"We had some patrons that got stuck in a rip current and got sucked out to sea," said Swor.

Lifeguards say if you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel with the beach and don't fight the current.

News 6 talked to a 15-year-old boy swimming in that manner. He told News 6 he's not afraid of rip currents.

"It could always happen, but from my past experience, I haven't come across it. So I don't see it as a problem," said Josh Cole.

Gregory Mack would call that attitude foolish. He says his dad drowned in Daytona back in the '80s.

"He went out there to teach my sister how to swim and he got caught in the riptide and he was trying to catch her to pick her up and throw her out of the riptide and every time he stood up, the bottom current knocked him down," said Mack. "When they got him to the shore, his gall bladder burst after drinking too much water."

Mack hopes swimmers like Cole will listen to his message.

"They play at their own risk and there's dangers out there," said Mack. "There's rip currents out there and they still go. They're at their own demise. I hate to say it like that, but that's the risk that you take."

Lifeguards said there were no traumatic ocean rescues Monday morning.


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