JSO: Body believed to be missing swimmer recovered from Huguenot Park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Monday, investigators say Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department’s (JFRD) Beach Patrol unit recovered a body they believed to be a swimmer who’d gone missing Sunday in Huguenot Park.

The United Parcel Service (UPS) has identified the man as its employee, Larry Dupree, a local father and UPS driver.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) tells Action News Jax he was in the water with his children, a four-year-old and nine-year-old, when they started having trouble with the current.

That’s when beachgoers formed a human chain to save their lives. While the children were rescued, the man UPS identified as Dupree did not survive.

“We are saddened by the news of Larry’s tragic drowning,” said UPS. “We’ve lost one of the ups family, and our thoughts are now with his family. Larry was a terrific individual and all of his friends at ups will miss him.”

Dupree’s cousin told Action News Jax by phone their family is grieving. His cousin did not wish to comment.

Over the weekend in Jacksonville Beach, the City of Jacksonville says 44 people were rescued from the water in dangerous red flag conditions.

Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Officer, Maxwell Ervanian, says their lifeguards experienced a record-breaking weekend.

He tells Action News Jax 44 ocean rescues in a matter of days exceeds what they’d see in some monthly statistics.

“We responded to more than 97 calls for service on Saturday and Sunday combined, not even including that Friday’s stats,” said Ervanian.

Ervanian says Jacksonville Beach rescuers performed more than 1,200 preventative actions over the weekend.

He tells us some beachgoers did not adhere to lifeguards’ warnings.

“When lifeguards are advising people on the beach not to go in the water, those announcements and those warnings should really be heard,” said Ervanian.

Ervanian recommends calling 9-1-1 if you see someone in distress, have someone flag down a lifeguard, and wait for professional rescuers to arrive.

Jacksonville Beach safety conditions and flag warnings can be found on the City of Jacksonville Beach’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Ervanian says you may also text ‘DuvalBeach’ to 888-777 to receive beach safety notifications.