Police say one person was initially in the water Friday night, requesting help.
Three bystanders jumped in to assist, but they also got caught in a riptide.
Surfside police rescued three men and the U.S. Coast Guard took out a boat and picked up a fourth person.
The rescue took about 30 minutes, but searchers were at the scene for two hours due to initial reports that there may have been a fifth person in the water. More detailed interviews revealed that everyone was safe.