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Report: Father drowns trying to save sons from rip current in Cocoa Beach

Family raising funds to fly man's body back to Kentucky

Red flags were flying high at our beaches today, advising swimmers and surfers about strong rip currents.
Red flags were flying high at our beaches today, advising swimmers and surfers about strong rip currents.

COCOA BEACH, Fla. – A father of six drowned in Cocoa Beach last week while trying to save his children from a rip current, according to a report from the Louisville Courier Journal.

Stephone Ritchie, 38, was visiting Florida with his family last week from Kentucky when the family decided to go to Cocoa Beach, reports the Courier Journal.

About 15 minutes after arriving at the beach, two of Ritchie's sons were in the water and became caught in a rip current. Ritchie was helping the boys back onto the beach when he became caught in the waves, family members told the Courier Journal.

Family and witnesses attempted CPR, but Ritchie later died.

The Ritchie family told the Courier Journal that the father of six didn't have life insurance and a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to raise money to pay for funeral costs, including flying his body home from Florida. Click here to donate.

"Stephone loved, sacrificed, and did everything for his children," a post on the fundraiser reads. "He was their best friend, protector, and always led by example. Stephone was a comedian at heart and could turn any frown into a smile. He was funny just like his father and compassionate just like his mother."

Read the full Courier Journal story here.