The Beaches of South Walton experienced high surf, rip currents and double red conditions most of last week due to effects from Tropical Storm Cristobal which made landfall further west. South Walton Beach Lifeguards, Walton County Sheriff's department and EMS were kept busy with emergency calls and water rescues all week long in spite of double red flags flying with warnings that the water was closed to swimmers.
According to a post on the Walton County Sheriff's Facebook page on June 9th Beach Safety Patrol, Walton Sheriffs, South Walton Fire Department and EMS were all kept hopping last week as beach goers ignored the double red flags flying. Double Reds are a signal to all that the beach is closed to swimming due to unsafe surf conditions and the possibility of rip currents being present.
A visitor from Texas drowned after ignoring the warning flags and went into the gulf then became distressed and was unable to return to shore. South Walton Beach Safety, Walton County Sheriffs and Fire Department were all on the scene and unable to revive the swimmer. Wednesday, 6/10/2020 was a record breaking day for SWFD Beach Safety as they attended to 91 Water Rescues and Public Assists over a 9 hour period.The South Walton Beach Safety program began in 2006 after a VERY similar day known locally as Black Sunday on June 8, 2003, where 8 people died from drowning on the beaches of the panhandle.
The quickest way to get current South Walton beach and surf conditions before heading out for the day is to text SAFETY to 31279. Download a list of all the Beach Rules and Safety Guidelines here ----> South Walton Beach Safety Guide