VILANO BEACH, Fla. – St. Johns County Fire Rescue saved a swimmer in the high surf Sunday afternoon at Vilano Beach.
Witnesses say a group of young girls saw someone waving their hands in the ocean.
Beachgoer Amanda Chiofalo said she saw the swimmer and called 911.
Nearby crews arrived and rushed out to save the male swimmer.
RELATED: National Weather Service issues 'High Rip Current Risk'
Red flags are flying at area beaches today due to increased rip current conditions caused by Hurricane Florence.
Swimmers are urged to use caution when getting in the water. If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you can escape.
WATER RESCUE AT VILANO BEACH | News4Jax Social Media Producer was at the Beach when a water rescue unfolded. DETAILS: https://bit.ly/2NpQoPZPosted by WJXT4 The Local Station / News4JAX on Sunday, September 9, 2018
The @NWSJacksonville has issued a High Rip Current Risk. Life-threatening rip currents are possible at any time and there have already been a few rescues made. Red Flags are up at our beaches, which means use extreme caution and go in the water ONLY if you're a keen swimmer. pic.twitter.com/ANzIfnPBWQ— SJSO (@SJSOPIO) September 9, 2018
Rip currents are also the No. 1 weather-related killer in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, taking more lives than hurricanes and tornadoes, combined.
Most rip current deaths occur on sunny or partly-cloudy days, when conditions are pleasant.