Husband and Wife Die After Being Caught in Riptide off New Hampshire Beach

Michael and Laura Cote were both unconscious when they were pulled from the water at the Seabrook shore about 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
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A Massachusetts couple died after being caught in a riptide off of a New Hampshire beach, officials said.

Michael and Laura Cote were both unconscious when they were pulled from the water at the Seabrook shore about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Michael Cote, 49, was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, while 47-year-old Laura Cote was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where she died on Monday. 

Father Seán Maher, the administrator at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Dracut, Massachusetts, identified the Cotes as the couple who lost their lives. 

“They did so much to come to know Jesus and His and our Father in this life that they are truly going to meet a Friend,” Maher wrote in a Facebook post. “They were so involved in every spiritual and other undertaking in this parish that many of us are in deep mourning.”

The church held a Mass for the couple Monday evening.

The Cotes were two of seven people who became caught in a rip current at the beach, where no lifeguard is on duty and swimmers are warned that entering the water comes with a risk. Of the seven caught in the rip current, six were swimmers and one was a good Samaritan who was trying to help, WBZ-TV reported.

The Seabrook Police department issued a swim advisory about two hours after the Cotes were pulled from the water. Officials said that would remain in effect until further notice.

“Ocean conditions can change rapidly and we remind those going in the water to be aware of potentially dangerous changes,” police said in a statement.

Riptides, or rip currents, are powerful, channeled currents of water that flow away from shore. They can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes. 

More than 100 people die every year in the U.S. due to rip currents, according to the United States Lifesaving Association

“Rip currents account for over 80 percent of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards,” the USLA said.

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