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A Pennsylvania Couple Tragically Lost Their Lives After Being Caught In A Rip Current

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A Pennsylvania Couple Tragically Lost Their Lives After Being Caught In A Rip Current

A couple from Pennsylvania sadly died in a rip current while on vacation in Florida with their six children.

On June 20, while swimming on Hutchinson Island with their two teenage children, Brian Warter, 51, and Erica Wishart, 48, encountered a dangerous situation.

Although the teenagers made it out of the choppy ocean waters, their parents did not.

The terrifying event was described in detail in a statement issued by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. The press announcement stated that although the adolescents tried their hardest to save their parents, they were eventually pulled down by the strong current.

Rescue operations were launched as soon as emergency services were sent out. Regretfully, medical personnel declared both Brian and Erica deceased even though they had been sent to a nearby hospital.

Erica Wishart. Credit: Facebook.

According to Cory Pippen, a spokesperson of Martin County Fire Rescue, red flags were flying at the beach to alert swimmers to the potentially dangerous riptide conditions on Tuesday afternoon, as reported by

These flags are meant to warn beachgoers of possible aquatic hazards, like powerful rip currents.

The father of Brian Warter, Larry Warter, revealed to CBS 12 News that his son and Erica had been dating for more than a year and were engaged to marry. Brian was a father of two, and Erica was a mother of four. The couple had intended to postpone getting married until after all of their kids had graduated from college. For them, their vacation to Stuart, Florida, was a critical turning point.

Larry Warter recalled, “They were so thrilled, they couldn’t see straight about going down. This was the first time. This was the experiment. They had all six of their kids together. They had been planning it for over a month.”

The couple’s parents expressed their sincere love for Brian Warter. Larry Warter observed, “It was obvious if you were around them,” referring to Brian and Erica’s love. Brian’s mother, Susie Warter, continued by saying that everyone who knew the pair adored them and was very excited about their future together.

The community has shown the Warter family a great deal of support. “We’ve been overwhelmed by offers of help and everything else. We thought we were going through this alone and it hasn’t been,” said Larry Warter.

Wayne Sallurday paid an emotional homage to Erica on a page dedicated to fundraising. “Erica was simply an amazing person.” The article said, “She was a loving mother of two sons and two daughters; with her youngest son being adopted at a young age.”

“Erica worked at an elementary school teaching special needs children, and later worked in her school library. She spent a significant amount of time helping at her local church. We could go on and on, but we think you get the picture by now. She was one of the nicest human beings you could ever meet.”

Over $60,000 has been raised on the GoFundMe page created in their honor, demonstrating the community’s kind reaction to the tragedy.

On its website, the National Weather Service provides important guidance about rip currents. It highlights that although rip currents don’t drag swimmers under, they can swiftly deplete their energy. Maintaining composure is essential.

“Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current. Do NOT try to swim directly into the shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore,” The website suggests swimming toward shore at an angle after you are free of the current’s pull.

The agency also advises following the maxim “If in doubt, don’t go out!” and never swimming alone.

This tragic event is a clear reminder of the risks associated with rip currents and the significance of paying attention to safety advisories when swimming.


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