JACKSONVILL BEACH, Fla. – St. Johns County Fire Rescue and Marine Rescue had a busy Sunday as crews had to help out multiple swimmers on the beach because of strong rip currents.
This comes after two people were rushed to the hospital in critical condition at Mickler’s Beach on Saturday.
Capt. Rob Emahiser with the Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue said to keep everyone as safe as possible his lifeguards will be going the extra mile and whistling at people to let them know of dangers.
“We do have a lot of people asking, ‘Why are you whistling at me?’ We want everyone to ask so we can explain, ‘Well, right here there’s a rip current and there’s a rip current. They do move as the tide changes,” Emahiser said.
A man and a child were rescued after getting caught in a rip current. People rushed in to save the father and son.
Brenden Townsend was at the beach when the chaos erupted.
“My girlfriend got off early we were ready to do something. We were just looking for shark’s teeth,” Townsend said.
Then, he heard screaming and saw someone drowning in the water.
“Turns out the little boy also got swept out and then his father went in and tried to rescue him,” he said.
He said people were able to get the two back to shore, causing him to jump into action.
“I was able to perform CPR on the little one. Also on dad. I got the little one to start breathing again and get his heartbeat going. And an ICU nurse was there and then I and a lifeguard started CPR rotation on dad,” he said.
The St. John’s County Fire Rescue spokesperson said this weekend they had 71 aquatic rescues — 46 were for swimmers.
Emahiser said on Independence Day, they intend on having more lifeguards at the beach to keep everyone safe.
He recommends if you’re coming out, swim near a lifeguard. Ask the lifeguards if they think it’s a good idea to get in the water. And lastly, if you can’t swim — don’t risk it.
“They can advise you in real-time if the conditions change you’ve got a professional who’s trained in the ocean and observing whether you’re safe or not,” Emahiser said.
News4JAX has not received an update on the father and son’s conditions.
Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.