A Florida man drowned Sunday while saving his wife from a Miami Beach rip current.
The man, identified as 34-year-old Sherrod Whittington, was visiting from Ft. Myers when the powerful currents nearly swept his wife, Kendra Smith, to sea, according to Miami Beach fire officials.
Seeing that lifeguards were occupied helping other swimmers, the man stepped up to help his wife.
The selfless act proved fatal as he went under after helping the woman escape the current.
Sherrod Whittington, 34, was visiting from Ft. Myers when powerful currents nearly swept his wife, Kendra Smith, to sea, according to Miami Beach fire officials.
"He was able to help her, but he just wasn’t able to get out," Miami Beach Fire Rescue Capt. Charlton Price told the Miami Herald.
Whittington was not breathing when he was pulled from the water. He was taken to an area hospital, where he died.
"It’s devastating," beachgoer Jessica Roeder, who is visiting from Indiana, told WSVN. "You’re trying to help your wife out, and you end up dying,” she said. “I can only imagine what’s going through her head right now."
Rip currents are one of the most common culprits in beach deaths.
Their speeds vary from around 1 to 2 feet per second or slower to 8 feet per second in currents that can pull swimmers hundreds of yards offshore.
A swimmer caught in a rip current is advised to try to regain footing if possible and swim parallel to the shore to escape.