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Elderly couple die in rip current off Miami Beach

By CNN Staff
updated 11:46 PM EDT, Sun August 18, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Threat of rip currents will continue through mid-week
  • The couple were in cardiac arrest when they were pulled from the water
  • 50 rescues carried out on an active day of rip currents

(CNN) -- An elderly couple died Sunday after getting caught in a rip current off Miami Beach, Florida, police said. It was one of 50 incidents related to the rough waters over the weekend, they said.

The couple were swimming with a red float, appearing fine one minute and under water the next, witnesses told CNN affiliate WSVN.

Beachgoers along with Ocean Rescue guards rushed to pull them from the water, according to WSVN.

The couple were in cardiac arrest by the time rescuers reached them, said Capt. Adonis Garcia, spokesman for Miami Beach Fire Rescue.

The incident was one of 50 rescues made Sunday due to rip currents, Garcia said, adding that he has never seen a day like it.

Onshore winds of 15 to 20 mph along with choppy surf generated strong rip currents along the Atlantic beaches of Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The onshore wind will continue for the next few days, extending a moderate rip current threat through mid-week.

First-responders advise swimmers caught in rip currents to swim parallel to shore to break free.

CNN's Dave Alsup and Monica Garrett contributed to this report.

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