Coast Guard rescues seven swimmers from rip current

7th Coast Guard District NewsSARASOTA, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued seven people caught in a rip current off Blind Pass, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received a report from Lee County Sherrifs office at 2:48 p.m., Thursday, regarding seven people who were reported caught in a rip current and dragged off the beach into the ocean.

At 2:45 p.m., a Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement Boat crew was launched, arriving on scene at 3:00 p.m.

The boatcrew safely pulled the seven people from the water and transported them to South Seas Plantation Marina.

No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard would like to remind the public about the dangers of rip currents. Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore and can happen at any beach.

If caught in a rip current:

  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly
  • Never fight against the current
  • Swim out of the current parallel to the shoreline.  When out of the current, swim at an angle away from the current towards shore
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water.  When out of the current, swim towards shore
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arms and yelling for help

For more information on Rip Currents and how to avoid them, please read Avoiding and Escaping Rip Currents by Mario Vittone.


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