Man dies on Father’s Day while rescuing daughter caught in rip current

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — An Alabama man died on Father’s Day while rescuing his daughter, who was caught in a strong rip current at a Florida Panhandle beach.

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Christopher Pierce, 47, of Helena, Alabama, died at Panama City Beach while vacationing with his family at Tidewater Beach Resort, WMBB-TV reported.

At about 3:45 p.m. CDT, Pierce went into the Gulf waters to rescue his daughter, whose age was not given, according to the television station. The girl was swimming on a red flag day, and while Pierce was able to save his daughter, he became caught in the strong current, according to the television station.

Panama City Beach Safety Division and Bay County Emergency Medical Service personnel responded to the scene but were unable to revive Pierce at the scene, WTVM reported. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the television station.

“He was successfully able to get her out of the water,” Panama City Beach police Chief J.R. Talamantez told WMBB. “But in his attempt, he got caught in a rip current that he ultimately died as a result of the incident.

“There are no words to describe what the family is probably going through when they lose their father, a husband, on Father’s Day while they’re on vacation. All of these tragedies can be avoided. All of these tragedies don’t have to happen.”

The condition of Pierce’s daughter has not been revealed.

Police said conditions at the time of the incident were severe, and the single red flags indicated severe water hazards, WBRC-TV reported.

“That water is just as dangerous as a pool full of sharks,” Talamantez told WMBB.

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