Recent Grad, 19, Dies Days After Florida Riptide Pulled Her Out Into the Ocean

"Although she was a great swimmer, Jayla was no match for the rip current that pulled her underwater in a moment's notice," wrote a member of Jayla Tassin's church

Jayla Tassin
Photo: Go Fund Me

A 19-year-old teen from Louisana died days after she was swept underwater by a powerful rip current while vacationing in Florida, WDSU reported.

Jayla Tassin was visiting Orlando with her family last week when they visited Daytona Beach to spend a day out in the water. But as Tassin swam in the ocean, the combination of a rip current, followed by a powerful wave, caused the recent high school graduate to be dragged underwater and pulled deeper into the ocean, Natalie Robottom, president of the St. John the Baptist Parish said in a statement posted to Facebook.

“Although she was a great swimmer, Jayla was no match for the rip current that pulled her underwater in a moment’s notice,” Robottom wrote on Monday. “Subsequently, a large wave swept her out and under deeper water. Despite a valiant effort to save her, Jayla never recovered.”

According to WDSU, Tassin graduated from East St. John High School in May and was preparing to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in August.

Bernard Tassin, Jayla’s father, told FOX 8 that the trip to Florida was meant to commemorate Jayla and her brother going off to college this summer. Yet, while the family relaxed on the sand, no one noticed Jayla get into the water, Bernard explained.

“My daughter went into the water. Nobody seen her, nobody heard her,” he continued. “A rip current came under and she had to panic. She lost all ability to fight.”

Jayla wouldn’t be found until a woman spotted her and brought her unconscious body back to shore.

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“Her body was lifeless,” Bernard told the news station. “We did CPR on her and to no avail and paramedics showed up. They put the oxygen on her, they took her away to the hospital.”

Though she was placed on life support, Jayla died at the hospital on Monday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the family and has so far raised more than $8,300 in four days.

“She fought. I know she fought,” Bernard said. “I’ve cried so much I don’t think I even have tears left in my body.”

Jayla’s death comes the same month as the death of 53-year-Old Frederick Pepperman, who died while saving his daughters from a riptide in the waters near Seacrest, Florida.

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