A fun trip to the beach turned to terror Wednesday when five people had to be rescued after being swept up in rip currents off Pass-A-Grille Beach.
And of them has died, FOX 13 has learned. Mary Rudolph's husband, two sons, sister and a niece were all caught in the current.
The sister died overnight, family members said. Rudolph said she almost got caught in the currents herself.
"The waves just took us out too far, and I couldn't see them no more, and the only thing I could do was hear them holler for help," Rudolph said. "And I was trying to get to them but I couldn't because the waves kept taking me under."
Two people came to the rescue, though: one was 15-year-old Allison Howard, who swam out on her wakeboard and rescued two of the family members as the waves crashed over them.
"I took off with my board and went out there. I pulled her up, I got up to here, and my mom pulled her up, and then I took off after the other girl," Howard said.
Keith Arbuckle also swam out to help, and spotted one of the women.
"Just before I got there, I could see her still with her hands up, but by the time I got there she was face down in the water, and just I flipped her up as soon as I could," Arbuckle said. "She was non responsive, so the best I could do is just to pull her in."
We're told Rudolph and her husband live here in the area, and the rest of the family is from Alabama. The four others remain in the hospital.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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