Man Drowns While Attempting To Save Wife

A Fort Myers, Fla. woman, whose husband died while rescuing her from a rip current, is now paying tribute to her “hero.”

Kendra Smith and her husband, Sherrod Whittington, were swept away by strong currents while swimming in waves around 2 p.m. at Miami Beach on Sunday.

“I was trying to hold onto him, he was trying to hold onto me. In some kind of wave, he lost his grasp and then he got me back again, he found me,” she told reporters.

Lifeguards placed a red flag on the beach to warn swimmers that currents were particularly strong at that time. They were able to pull Whittington’s body out as they were removing other swimmers from the water.

The 34-year-old was not breathing and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Smith, who was married to Whittington for two years, also told reporters that some of their belongings were stolen during the tragic ordeal.

Rip currents are powerful channels of fast moving water that strongly effect coastal areas. According to the National Ocean Service, not only do rip currents kill an estimated 100 swimmers every year in the country, but they also account for eighty percent of beach rescues.

The tides often move at eight feet per second which is faster than the average Olympic swimmer.

“He did the most amazing thing in the world that he gave his life for me…I’m going to honor him until the day I die because of that… He’ll always be my hero,” she said.