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Hurricane Franklin, TS Idalia cause rip tide conditions along Fl coast, weather experts warn

Daytona beach shoreline rip currents

The National Weather Service has placed a Rip Current Statement along Central Florida’s Atlantic coast. The advisory statement comes after a weekend full of beach rescues in Volusia County.

Volusia County Beach Patrol made 286 rescues during the holiday weekend due to tumultuous rip currents pulling swimmers out to deeper water. Additionally, Spectrum News 13 reported two shark bite incidents involving a 37-year-old Apopka woman swimming at the Ponce Inlet, and a man in his 30s who was surfing at the Ponce Inlet jetty. The bites occurred in tandem with what is usually observed as the black tip shark migration season.

The National Weather Service predicts all of Florida’s Atlantic coast will retain dangerous rip tides through the rest of the week producing waves up to 5 feet high.

One reason why Florida waters are so powerful at this time is because of all the churning created by the tropical storms and hurricane activity, said John Pendergrast an NWS meteorologist.

“It was Franklin and Idalia over the Atlantic waters that we're sending a swell back to the Florida peninsula over the Atlantic. And so we were feeling the direct effects of that this past weekend. And it continues right now,” he said.

The NWS’s rip current statement is in effect until Wednesday morning but could extend into the weekend, Pendergrast said.

Meteorologists recommend not entering the water at this time, but if you already have plans, be sure to host your outing near a lifeguard tower and ask the guards how powerful the rip tide conditions have been.

Pendergrast said if you enter the water and get caught in a rip tide, don’t panic. The channels are not very large and don’t last long.

“Try to float or swim paddle parallel to the beach, wave your hands if you can call to help to those that are on the beach, and you should be able to make yourself back if you if you do those things, escape that pull," Pendergrast said. "Eventually the recurrent will let you go it's not going to pull you out two miles offshore for example."

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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