KEY POINTS

  • The Rosengren family and three other families went to the beach
  • The children ignored warnings and ran into the water
  • Pete Rosengren helped save the children when they got into trouble
  • He passed out after the ordeal and later died

A father has died at a Florida beach after attempting to rescue his sons by diving into the harsh flowing water when they got swept into deeper waters by a rip current.

Pete Rosengren, a 42-year-old advertising executive for Chicago's Daily Herald, was having a vacation at Miramar Beach with his family, composed of his wife and three sons, on Sunday when the fatal rescue attempt took place.

Maura Rosengren, Pete's wife, told the Daily Herald that the kids had started swimming in the water and had run into trouble only a few minutes after their arrival at the beach. She said everything "happened so fast."

The Rosengren family drove to the beach from their home in Illinois. Pete and Maura were supposed to celebrate their 18th anniversary together Monday. They were joined by three other families they knew. 

Miramar Beach was open for business but there were double red flag warnings indicating that no one was allowed to go into the water because of turbulence. However, the children ignored the red flags and ran into the water, the New York Post said in a report.

The three Rosengren boys, aged 7, 12 and 14, and the other children with them encountered a problem as soon as they got in the water. A rip current caught the kids and started to pull them toward the expansive waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Pete saw what was happening and dove into the water to save the struggling boys. The boys were trying to get back to shore, but the 9-year-old son of one of their friends was still struggling. That's when Pete came in and helped the boy to reach some staff members at the resort.

Pete passed out at some point. Lifeguards performed CPR on him on the beach before taking him to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

A coroner's autopsy from the police will find out if Pete died from drowning or from a heart attack.

Ambulance A representational image of an ambulance pictured in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images