Hurricane Dorian Rescue: Surfers Help Save Woman Who Jumped From Jacksonville Pier

A woman reportedly jumped off a Florida pier into the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday afternoon as outer winds from Hurricane Dorian pelted the coast and sent waves crashing ashore. Nearby surfers in Jacksonville Beach enjoying the heavy waves saw the woman struggle in a tough undertow, and then helped rescue her.

The Jacksonville Times-Union reported that a woman sauntered down the Jacksonville Beach Pier and shimmied her way past a locked gate. There, sat at the end of the pier for several hours. A heavy crowd was not unusual Tuesday at the beach as many wanted to see Dorian's wrath up close, but just far enough away as the eyewall still rumbled a hundred miles to the east.

According to the report, the incident began when one surfer, Tyler Sebring, noticed the woman sitting on a guard railing at the pier, with her legs dangling over the side.

Sebring called out to the woman, "Are you ok?" The report says the woman was crying. The woman seemed to get closer and closer to the edge each time Sebring called out, in which he kept telling her things would be ok.

Sebring got fellow surfer Ty Miller's attention to come watch the woman so he could call Ocean Rescue. As the rescue vehicles came racing to the scene from all directions, the woman jumped into the choppy, white-capped sea, at which point she went limp in the water.

Miller helped maneuver the woman onto his surfboard, and Jacksonville Beach lifeguards Tommy Cassaro and Alexander Seward helped bring the woman out of the rough waters generated by a deadly hurricane.

The lifeguards carried the woman to a nearby pickup truck, placed her in the bed and began checking her oxygen levels and vital signs.

Ocean Rescue congratulated the surfers for becoming instant first responders.

"It was all of us," Miller told the Times-Union.

Hurricane Dorian Rescue By Surfers
A surfer navigates waves and currents as the threat of Hurricane Dorian looms on September 1, 2019 in Ormond Beach, Florida. Dorian, once expected to make landfall near Indialantic in Florida as a category 4 storm, is currently predicted to turn north and stay off the Florida coast lessening the impact on the area. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ocean Rescue carried the woman away for further observation, and another rescue vehicle appeared to warn beachgoers that the beach was actually closed. The rescue group said about 50 surfers had been surfing in the waves Tuesday, but this was the only rescue they had made.

Despite the warnings by Ocean Rescue and their urgency for beachgoers to stay out of the water, another 50 or so people made their way back into the Atlantic shortly thereafter. Though many got out of the water after heeding the lifeguard advisory from a megaphone, the lifeguards had to go tell three people still in the water to get out.

Ocean Rescue Lt. Eli Phillips said lifeguards ended their Monday evening shifts by going up and down the beach to warn people to stay out of the waves, which could become extremely dangerous. Phillips said lifeguards will most likely do the same thing Tuesday evening.

"It puts other people at risk," Phillips said about people continually getting in the rough waters. "If we do call you and warn you, please listen."

Hurricane Dorian became a catastrophic Category 5 storm before obliterating parts of the Bahamas beginning Sunday. Some towns on the islands were completely destroyed as wind speeds topped 200 mph in some places, and the storm surge topped 20 feet in places.

The storm meandered slowly over the Bahamas until Tuesday, when it began moving west and north toward the Florida coast.

The projected path for Dorian as of Tuesday evening was the same as previous forecasts — a slow moving trek along the eastern U.S. coast with winds slowly dropping. Although the eye of the storm is not projected to make landfall on the U.S. mainland, the outer winds of Dorian are expected to smack the coast at 100 mph — hurricane strength — in places.