Ohio Man Dies Rescuing Daughter from Rip Current While on Vacation
Apr. 5—When Nader Khalil's teenage daughter got caught in a rip current off a Jupiter beach Monday afternoon, he did what any panicked father would do. He went in trying to save his little girl.
But while the girl was ultimately saved, Khalil, a 46-year-old vacationing from Macedonia, Ohio, died after being pulled from the waters.
A Jupiter woman said she and a group of people, including Khalil's son, tried to save him.
"We did our best to bring him back," Alexa McDonald told The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday. "We started (struggling) trying to bring him back. A fisherman saw him and went to help. The next thing we know, the fisherman is helping."
The incident happened about 2 p.m. Monday at Public Access 45 on A1A, about a half mile south of the Jupiter Reef Club and east of the Driftwood Plaza shopping complex.
While no rip current warnings were issued Monday, it's not uncommon for them to form without warnings. Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from the shore. They occur most often at low spots or breaks in sandbars and in the vicinity of structures such as jetties and piers.
McDonald was visiting the beach Monday when Khalil's daughter got caught in one of those strong rip currents.
McDonald said Khalil went into the water to help his daughter. The girl was able to break free of the current and return to shore, but Khalil was unable to free himself, McDonald said.
His son swam out to help and McDonald followed him.
Others joined in.
The group eventually was to able to carry Khalil to shore, but he was unconscious.
When paramedics arrived, they found him unresponsive. He was pronounced dead shortly before 3 p.m. at Jupiter Medical Center.
McDonald said she did not know the family, but learned later that Khalil and his wife were vacationing from Ohio with their high school-aged children, a son and two daughters.
The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office is working to determine the cause of death.