NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — On Sunday morning, a 43-year-old Orlando surfer went under the water, become unresponsive and is now in critical condition.

  • Unknown why man went under water
  • Off-duty lifeguard pulled man from ocean

At around 10:25 a.m., the man was surfing at New Smyrna Beach when he started to struggle and was submerged, according to Capt. Mike Berard of the Volusia County Beach Safety.

The unresponsive man was noticed by an off-duty Volusia County lifeguard who was also surfing and pulled the man to shore and started CPR, explained Berard in a news release.

The Volusia County Beach Safety and New Smyrna Beach Fire Rescue came onto the scene and maintained medical treatment until the man was taken to an area hospital, where he is listed in critical condition in the ICU, stated Berard.

While Berard stated it is unclear what caused the man to go under the water, he stated that New Smyrna Beach had red flags flying on Sunday due to "hazardous rip currents' and that the Volusia County Beach Safety rescued 72 people from the surf.

"The rip current risk is expected to stay high over the coming days so we urge all who visit the beach to swim near a lifeguard and stay where you can firmly touch bottom," he warned.