Some South Walton visitors want more warnings before double red flag fines

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 9:38 PM CDT
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When you go down to the beach in South Walton, officials want you to check the beach warning flags as soon as you get there.

“This is the stuff that will kill people,” David Vaughan, beach safety director for South Walton Fire District, said.

When double red flags fly, that means the water is closed.

which one visitor says, she didn’t know.

“I thought it meant extreme caution, possible undertow, swim at your own risk, there’s no lifeguard here obviously and that’s what I thought it meant,” Sarah Dobbs, who is visiting Miramar Beach, said.

Dobbs was issued a 500 dollar ticket from code enforcement.

“He said, no you’re not actually supposed to have a toe in the water, due to the double red flag, I indicated that there was no warning on our beach access and where we were staying,” Hobbs said, “I want them to keep the beach safe but I think warning people appropriately and making sure there are enough warnings before you’re riding around giving people tickets would be ideal.”

Even though there wasn’t a sign at the beach access, bed tax collectors can help educate people who stay in their rentals.

“Any way we can get the message out there, we try to, through printed materials, koozies, cups, little footballs, magnets to put on the refrigerators or window clings for the windows, and that’s all free,” said David Demarest, with Visit South Walton.

Vaughan said it’s important that people read the messages they put out there.

“We put this out there because we’re trying to save lives, we don’t want any more people dying on the beaches,” said Vaughan.

Tourism officials also advise educating yourself on the local laws and ordinances before you visit.

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