DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. - Rough surf and strong riptides are to blame after a man drowned Sunday morning.
"I saw a man coming out of the ocean screaming for help and then people running toward him," Tom Frio said.
Volusia County Beach Safety Patrol said two brothers were in distress while the third brother called for help. Marisa Purvis is one of the five people who jumped into action.
"He said his brother is still out there. We were unable to find him anywhere. Finally, we saw a board pop up," Purvis said.
That's when they grabbed the man, identified as 43-year-old Christopher Milhoan of Tampa, and brought him back to shore.
"He was blue and of course he was filled with water," Purvis said.
Purvis immediately began CPR, while emergency medical services arrived.
"The first gentleman had made it and there was one other guy that we made sure we assessed and he was fine," she said.
Both brothers were quickly taken to Halifax Medical Center, where Milhoan died. Beachgoers like Sandra Weiss said the drowning may have been prevented had a lifeguard been nearby.
"It was manned by a girl and she has been doing her flag all day yesterday getting people in because of the rough rip tides. Today, there was nobody there," said Weiss.
However, Beach Safety Patrol said the drowning happened in an unguarded area and that is why it is important to swim in front of a lifeguard tower, especially during hazardous beach conditions.
"We all tried the best we could but the rip currents are really bad today. If you don't know how to swim parallel to the shore, especially if you're not from around here, it can be scary," Purvis said.
Beach Safety Patrol said they rescued 139 people.
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