Unusually high tide, rip current force beachgoers out of water

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – An unusually high tide forced beachgoers to the dunes Saturday, retreating both from crashing waves and a strong rip current.

Beachgoers who usually enjoy the hard sand were sitting in the soft sand near the dunes; otherwise, they could’ve been swept up by the water.

“We got in the water a little bit, but it's very rough, so we only went up to mid-calf and were getting swept away,” beachgoer Melissa Storch said. “We’re just going to stay up here and get really sandy today.”

The tide was coming in so close to the nearby buildings that beach construction equipment got an unexpected ocean bath.

It wasn’t just a high tide, due to storms off the coast, that sent people to the dunes -- strong rip currents forced beachgoers to stay out of the water.

The Weather Authority said that life-threatening rip currents are likely in the surf zone, and want to remind people that if they are caught in a rip current, to no fight it. Instead, people caught in rip currents should swim parallel to the shoreline until they are free.

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