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Clearwater Beach, Florida -- Set beneath the gray, heavy skies of Clearwater Beach, the aftermath of tragedy remains on the sand.

Two men, on a group vacation from Gainsville, Georgia, were staying in Orlando and came to Clearwater for the day. During an evening swim on Friday, they got caught in a rip current.

Officer Christian Zarra, heard one man's cries for help and rushed in.

"I just tried to get his head above water and drag him to shore. I was just worried about him."

Donald Duncan, 41, just barely made it out alive.

"He was totally exhausted. [I] thought he was going to have a heart attack he was so pale."

A 20-year-old man was taken out of the water by a firefighter from the beach station. He passed away. WTSP

Meanwhile his co-worker, 20-year-old Ryan Terry, suffered a much worse fate. Terry was dead by the time rescuers pulled his body ashore.

Officers say despite relatively shallow water, the tide can be strong. The men were pulled over 200 yards from where they were swimming.

RELATED: How to survive a rip current

Good Samaritans also came together to help.

A cardiologist from Canada, Francois St. Maurice, who was on the beach at the time of the rescue assisted in treating Duncan. Michael Foster from Michigan helped fire department rescuers bring Terry's body to shore.

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