Good Samaritans pull two men from Volusia Co. rip currents

Just after 11 a.m. Sunday morning, two men were out swimming in Daytona Beach Shores when beach patrol says they were pulled under by strong rip currents.
Mike O'Neil and his family come to Daytona Beach Shores every few weeks from Lakeland. Sunday is one they won't forget.  

"One guy was in need of help on his hands and knees, so a lot of attention was focused there," O'Neil said.  "Then, all of a sudden, that's when they said ‘there he is.'"

They were pointing to a man in the water in an area where there weren't any lifeguards. O'Neil knew he had to help.

"I saw a lady waving for help, and all of a sudden, some guys said ‘there he is,' so some guys took off in the water and I took off after um," O'Neil said. "By the time we got to him, he was unconscious. We dragged him in and the lifeguards took over from there."

Both men were rushed to the hospital. The man O'Neil helped out of the water was pronounced dead.

Volusia County Beach Patrol Spokeswoman Sgt. Tamra Marris says they're flying the red flags, which are hazardous condition warnings, because of the strong rip currents.

One hundred and thirty-one people were rescued in Volusia County today. Sgt. Marris said there were also 62 jellyfish stings.

O'Neil says his experience had a very sad ending, but made him realize how many strangers are willing to jump in to help.

"They're just people that didn't know anybody from anyone, but everyone just tried to help him."

Sgt. Marris says it's important to always swim near a lifeguard.

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