Person Drowns, 2 Dozen Others Rescued Off Coast of Nantucket

A person drowned Wednesday at Nobadeer Beach in Nantucket, police said.

The beach was closed to swimmers at the time due to a storm offshore, but people were swimming outside the area being monitored by lifeguards.

One victim was found face down in the water. A lifeguard signaled for assistance, and two or three off-duty lifeguards helped bring the victim back to shore and perform CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Nantucket Harbormaster said lifeguards rescued 25-plus people on Nantucket's South Shore on Wednesday due to the dangerous rip currents. The U.S. Coast Guard is warning people to stay out of the water.

All of the other people rescued are expected to survive with minimal injuries.

At one point, there were reports of waves as high as 12 feet. Hurricane Gert has been causing a rip current at south-facing coasts.

People are being encouraged to stay out of the water until waves subside, or to swim on the island's north shore.

A high surf advisory remains in place through 8 p.m. for southward facing beaches along Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape, the Islands and Downeast Maine. Many beaches closed in the early afternoon due to very dangerous surf.

Hurricane Gert is expected to remain out to sea between New England and Bermuda. The center of this storm has churned up 30-foot waves, and by the time they reach the New England coast, we've been seeing 4-foot to 6-foot swells.

If you find yourself swept away by a rip current, the first thing to do is remain calm and not try to fight it because you will wear yourself out and lose energy. A rip current is a relatively strong, but usually narrow, current that sweeps outward - away from the beach.

Once the rip current sweeps you out, do not panic - swim parallel to the beach, away from the current, and once you realize you are out of the surf zone that caused the current, you can safely swim back to the beach.

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