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Teenage tourist drowns in Florida waters as amid rough rip currents

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(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

DESTIN, Fla. – A 19-year-old tourist from Illinois drowned and another swimmer was rescued after they were caught in a rip current unleashed by the remnants of Hurricane Delta in the Gulf Coast.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that witnesses went in to help the tourists in Destin, Florida, but also struggled with the rough waves before they were rescued by lifeguards.

Witnesses told the sheriff’s office that the pair of tourists got pulled out by a rip current Saturday and the young man was overtaken by waves.

The teenager, Dakota Pierce, was not breathing when pulled from the ocean and was later pronounced dead at an emergency room.

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The other swimmer, a 22-year-old Illinois man, was rescued and taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

Delta made landfall Friday evening in southwest Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane and then began weakening quickly over land.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.


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We need help to find a way to prevent COVID-19

COVID-19 studies are enrolling now.

Those who qualify:*

  • may receive the investigational vaccine or placebo at no cost
  • may receive compensation for time and travel
  • may receive free testing for COVID-19