NJ Tourist Dies in Irene's Rough Florida Surf

Second surfer also killed.

Sunday, Aug 28, 2011  |  Updated 3:00 AM EDT
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It may still be hours off, but the effects of Hurricane Irene are quickly setting in.

NBC New York

It may still be hours off, but the effects of Hurricane Irene are quickly setting in.

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Two people, including a New Jersey man, died in the rough surf churned up by Hurricane Irene along Florida's east coast, officials say.

Flagler County Sheriff's officials say 55-year-old James Palmer died Saturday in rough surf.

Family members told deputies they lost sight of Palmer just after he waded into the surf in north Florida. He was pulled to shore, where his wife attempted CPR. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says 55-year-old Frederick Fernandez also died in the surf. He was surfing off New Smyrna Beach Saturday morning when he went under water. Witnesses told deputies he was surfing one minute and was gone the next.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Fernandez, a high school teacher, had a large cut on his head, apparently from hitting the sea floor.

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