The Herald-Tribune reports that visitors piled into the parking lot of Venice Beach, got out of their cars, started hacking, coughing and sneezing and then quickly left.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Red Tide along the west coast is the Karenia brevis, a strain of algae that is nearly exclusive to Florida waters.
Red tide is a "naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs almost every year".
The newspaper, calling the algae outbreak a "crisis", says the suspected cause of death is red tide poisoning.
Officials say almost 400 sea turtles have died because of the toxic bloom.
What is Florida Red Tide?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reports that dead fish have been found in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier and Monroe counties and include such species as grouper, trout, eel, snook, tarpon, hardhead catfish and assorted baitfish.
For people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema or asthma, red tide can cause serious illness.
"FWC and DEP will enhance cleanup efforts, public awareness initiatives and water testing to ensure that Floridians understand the best ways to minimize the impact of red tide", a press release added. The red tide is going strong - and has been joined by toxic blue-green algae invading Lake Okeechobee, and several of the state's rivers and canals, Newsweek said.
High concentrations of toxic algae, known as blooms, have affected at least 120 miles of the peninsula's Gulf of Mexico coast since November 2017.