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Panama City Beach sees surfers hit the waves as Fred makes landfall

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WBRC) - Tropical Strom Fred drew plenty of interest from people fascinated about severe weather systems. Some of them tried to take advantage of that situation on the Florida Gulf Coast.

WBRC found three people who used Tropical Storm Fred as an opportunity to go surfing.

Davis McGee is a 21-year-old from Apalachicola, Florida. He and two of his friends drove two hours to Panama City Beach to go surfing near the public pier.

McGee described the barrel waves caused by Fred as “beautiful.” He said the only time waves are big enough to surf here is when there’s a tropical system like Fred able to make the waves longer and stronger than they normally are.

“We don’t get it quite often. You know every storm we just chase it. My buddy right here is from Vero Beach, used to be professional. Still rides for a couple of teams. We chase the waves, chase the storms,” said McGee.

A double red flag warning was in effect at the time McGee and his friends went surfing, so they were swimming at their own risk. No lifeguards were on duty at the time they were in the water.

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