The Walton County Sheriff’s Office advises the public that there are double red flags flying on Walton County Beaches today. Double Red Flags indicate that the water is closed to the public.
According to Walton County Ordinance, “The Director of Emergency Operations or the Walton County Sheriff’s Office shall have authority to declare that an emergency exists and temporarily close or restrict the use of the beach and adjacent waters for use by the public when conditions endangering the safety of the public are present.” After notice has been given to the public, either by being told or by the posting of signs, it is a violation of ordinance 2003-07. The fine is $100, but could end up costing more than the money in someone’s wallet; it could cost someone’s life.
According to Lt. Gray of the Beach Patrol Unit, there are numerous rescues that have already occurred today, due to visitors not heeding the warnings. “It is still dangerous out there. Don’t be fooled by the sunny weather,” Gray said.
Warning signs are posted at the entrances to beaches, as well as businesses in South Walton. They are also posted on South Walton Fire Department’s website: www.swfd.org and the South Walton Tourist Development Councils website: www.visitsouthwalton.com.