Panama City Beach fire rescue keeps water clear during double red flags

With double red flags flying, Panama City Beach Fire Rescue is making sure everyone stays on...
With double red flags flying, Panama City Beach Fire Rescue is making sure everyone stays on the sand and out of the water.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Jun. 19, 2021 at 9:18 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Even with rainy skies, dangerous currents, and double red flags flying high, some people just can’t resist a beach day.

“We figured we’d pop down to the beach real quick and get what little beach time we can while the weather’s still decent,” one visitor said.

The Panama City Beach Fire Rescue team is making sure those who do go to the beach, stay on the sand and out of the water.

Yellow, purple, green, and even single red flags are all okay to take a dip in the gulf with caution. But when you see a double red, it means the water is closed. The only exception is experienced surfers with boards strapped to their ankles.

On Saturday, firefighter Garrett Jones said the waves were roughly five to six feet high.

“You’ll see a grown man probably 250 pounds or so go out just ankle-deep, and a big enough wave comes in and it swoops him right out under the wave. Next thing you know, he’s out in the trough or second sand bar and he’s yelling for help,” Jones said.

It’s a scary situation that the PCB Fire Rescue team works to avoid while patroling the beach.

“It’s very sad to see that it does take a bad event for everyone on the beach and being the public to witness someone drown and possibly pass away for them to all realize the seriousness and what mother nature can do in the Gulf of Mexico,” Jones said.

Anyone who doesn’t get out of the water while double red flags fly will be issued a $500 fine.

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