Miami/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 21, 2024
UPDATE: Pennsylvania Couple Drowns in Florida's Hutchinson Island Rip Current in Front of Their ChildrenSource: Facebook/Martin County Sheriff's Office

A tragic incident unfolded on Hutchinson Island, Florida, when a Pennsylvania couple drowned after being caught in a rip current while vacationing with their family. According to NBC Miami, Brian Warter, 51, and Erica Wishart, 48, were identified by the Martin County Sheriff's Office as the victims of the ill-fated swim at Stuart Beach. The couple's six teenage children witnessed the harrowing event and called 911 in desperate need for help,

The rescue efforts were immediately launched as Martin County Ocean Rescue officials were dispatched to the beach around 1:30 p.m., Warter and Wishart were found unconscious and CPR was administered both on the beach and at Martin North Hospital, where the couple was pronounced deceased; a second, separate swimmer was also rescued moments later and received CPR as reported by a social media update from Martin County Fire Rescue.

Amid the tragedy, the children, who had to endure the sight of their parents' struggle and the subsequent futile resuscitation attempts, received assistance from the Sheriff's Office Crisis Intervention Team. Chief Deputy John Budensiek described the children as "extremely traumatized" having witnessed both the drowning and the rescue efforts on the beach and at the hospital, as stated in an interview with CBS12.

At the time of the incident, single red flags indicating rough surf conditions were flying; however, protocols were followed with the dispatch of lifeguards from Jensen Beach and Stuart and the subsequent raising of double red flags that closed the water to the public "If you happen to not be near a lifeguard stand, we have avenues to get the information out to the public where they can see," said MCFR District Chief Joe Lobosco in a statement, while authorities continue to remind beachgoers of the dangers of rip currents and the importance of swimming near lifeguard-protected areas.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies