Volusia County beach patrols gear up for week of rough rip currents

Rip currents blamed for 10-year-old drowning

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Rip currents are strengthening along Central Florida’s coasts. Volusia County Beach Safety said two people drowned in them over the weekend including a 10-year-old.

With storms churning in the Atlantic, beach patrol expects these rip currents to get even stronger.

“There were two drownings, two days apart. Unfortunately, the 10-year-old was in an unguarded area,” Capt. Tammy Malphurs with Volusia County Beach Safety said.

Malphurs said both were pulled into rip currents and 68 others were pulled from the water over the weekend, too.

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“Even the strongest of swimmers get caught in rip currents,” Malphurs said.

She said always, but this week especially, beachgoers need to stay in front of a lifeguard if swimming. Hurricane Sam in the Atlantic is creating higher threats for currents and larger swells.

“You can be standing in waist-deep water, get hit by a wave and it’ll knock you off your feet and next thing you know you’re in this rip current,” she said.

Safe bathing limit notices can be found on the lifeguard stands and signs or just by asking a guard.

“Just remember that it’s not going to pull you underwater it’s just going to pull you into deeper water so don’t panic. Yell for help, try to swim parallel to shore and don’t try to fight the rip current,” Malphurs said.

Volusia County Beach Safety also has an app you can use to check the conditions and find out where the lifeguards will be positioned on the beach before you even get here.

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.