ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – A 69-year-old Tampa man was found dead Wednesday morning in the surf off Ormond Beach, officials said.
Volusia County Beach Safety said the man’s body was found around 8:30 a.m. near Traders Inn Beach Club.
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The man was staying in a nearby hotel with his wife, and she said he left their room to go swimming about 15 minutes before his body was discovered, according to Volusia County Beach Safety.
“We responded on scene and initiated lifesaving efforts. Unfortunately he was later pronounced dead at the hospital,” said Deputy Chief Tammy Malphurs with Volusia Beach Safety.
Malphurs said the man had been swimming for 10-15 minutes in Ormond Beach. Beach Safety is still investigating the cause of death.
She said it was an hour and a half before lifeguards got on tower.
“We have some high surf conditions called a shore pound, it’s been really strong the last couple days. We’ve transported a couple people for trauma related incidents,” he said.
News 6 meteorologists said Hurricane Earl off the Atlantic coast last week and a front churning in the Atlantic off the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas this week have picked up the waves and rip currents here.
“You use common sense, go where the lifeguards are,” Tim Farley said.
It’s a welcomed swell for experienced surfers like Farley but dangerous for swimmers and even those wading in the water with the waves breaking so close to shore.
“If you don’t know don’t go, if you don’t feel comfortable, stay in closer. There’s rip out there, there’s currents,” he said.
Malphurs said especially if not experienced, stay in front of their guards right now. They’re on stand from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also see which towers they’ll be in each day on the Volusia Beaches cell phone app.
The man’s cause of death is under investigation.
An easterly breeze from a stalled front to the north of Central Florida has caused the threat of rip currents to be elevated at area beaches, although it’s not known if rips played a role in the man’s death.
No other details have been released.
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