Couple dies after drowning in Florida rip current while on vacation with kids

Brian Warter, 51, and Erica Wishart, 48, got caught in a rip current with two of their children on Thursday afternoon. The children were able to break away from the current and are safe

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The couple was identified as Chester County resident Brian Warter, 51, and Erica Wishart, 48, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

Warter and Wishart were on vacation with their six teenage children on Hutchinson Island when they and two of their kids were caught in the rip current, officials said.



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A spokesperson with the Martin County Sheriff's Office in Florida took to Facebook to share the sad news.

Officials with the sheriff's office said that the two kids were able to break away from the current and they tried to help their parents.

Sadly, they were forced to return to shore without the couple due to the danger of the current, officials explained.

WPTV, sister station to NBC10, was able to connect with Warter's parents who told them that they heard their son had jumped into the water trying to save some of the children from a rip current when it pulled him in.

The couple's children called 911 for help, according to NBC affiliate WPTV in Florida.

Martin County Ocean Rescue officials were called to the beach around 1:30 p.m. and were able to find the couple to bring them back to shore before performing CPR, the sheriff's office said.

The Sheriff's Office said that life-saving efforts continued in the ambulance and in the hospital before the couple was pronounced deceased.

A deputy with the Martin County Sheriff's Crisis Intervention Team is helping the children as they wait for family members to make their way to Florida.

Chester County father remembered

"We are at a loss for words about the whole thing," one neighbor said.

Brian Warter is being remembered as a loving dad and a kind neighbor as his Chester County community mourns his loss.

"Brian was a very wonderful neighbor. He was a nice guy. He was friendly. He was funny and he was a good father," the neighbor said. "We're all sending our thoughts and prayers to the two boys."

It's coming as a complete shock to many who live on Warter's street in Downingtown that their neighbor won't be coming home again.

"He was warm, very considerate, bright man," another neighbor shared. "He loved his children. He was very patient with them."

Many from the school and the neighborhood say they're working on plans to support the children who are all young adults.

Warter's two boys are graduates of Downingtown East High School and many are asking how they can support the alumni.

Neighbors explained that Warter was very active in his boys' schooling and even helped with the sports teams.

Warter's neighbors tell NBC10 that he and Wishart had been dating for some time. She is originally from the Washington D.C. or Maryland area.

"We didn't know Erica well, but, you know, it seemed like they had a wonderful relationship," one neighbor said.

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