Rip current warnings at Brevard County beaches

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Thousands of people made their way to the Space Coast for Easter weekend, but Monday swimmers were warned to stay out of the water.

Police say a man died over the weekend while swimming in the surf at Cocoa Beach and while the autopsy still isn't finished, one local man feels that a damaged rip current sign could've played a role in his death.

Michael Fitzgerald says he's been trying to get faded out rip current warning signs replaced at 54 out of some 200 Brevard County public beach access ways for the past year.

He says the sign at Young Avenue in Cocoa Beach is on the list, which is the same area where police found the man unresponsive on Saturday.

"If that sign was there, could he have read it? Possibly, but because it wasn't there, it wasn't read," said Fitzgerald.

Don Ensor, visiting from Spokane, Washington, says he felt the dangerous rip currents flowing through the waters off Cocoa Beach.

"I just tried to go out and surf for the first time. Probably the wrong time to do that," said Ensor.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue says there's been 16 total rescues since Saturday, plus the one fatality.

With the summer months approaching and tourist starting to flock back to Brevard County's beaches, Fitzgerald wants the county to fix the unreadable, damaged signs.

Beach safety is warning folks that this rip current advisory could last through the end of the week. They want anyone who plans on swimming to do so near a life guard.

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