Double red flag warnings issued after string of recent water rescues

Local law enforcement issue double red flag warning after multiple deaths in bay county this past week. (WJHG/WECP)
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) -- Bay County Sheriff's officials said they've arrested two people since last Tuesday. Since then, they've had more than 120 calls where they've either warned or rescued people in the water.

"Don't going in ankle deep, don't go knee deep. Stay out. It's not a pond or a pool," said Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas.

In an instant, swimming for fun could become swimming to survive.

"It's gonna carry you out and a lot of people panic. What they do is they panic so much they lose energy and they can't keep themselves above water," explained New Jersey resident Sean Cunningham.

Multiple people have died in our area due to rip currents over the past week, which is why double red flags are flying.

"They were running up and down in the Beach Patrol with the microphone saying your 'you're not allowed to go swimming, you're not allowed to go swimming' because the rip tide was so bad," said Cunningham.

"We've [Panama City Beach Police Department] had 93 calls since the 18th. That's an awful lot of rescue calls, it puts a lot of people in danger," said Mayor Thomas.

Bay County Sheriff's officials say if you get caught swimming in the water, officers will give you a warning. If they catch you again in the water, you could be arrested which could lead to you being fined up to $500 and spending up to 60 days in jail.

Bay County Sheriff's officials said they believe the conditions of the water will be better by Wednesday. They'll be checking the water daily.