04-10-2009, 07:54 PM #1
10 pulled from Gulf Friday (Apr 10)
10 pulled from Gulf Friday, surf conditions same through weekend
April 10, 2009 - 7:32 PM
A total of 10 people were pulled from the surf in South Walton County and in Destin on Friday while red beach flag warned of dangerous conditions.
One of the victims was taken to a local hospital after rescuers performed CPR.
Walton County upped their warning to a double red post after four people were rescued in 4-foot seas late Friday morning, South Walton Fire District Chief Rick Talbert said. Before lifeguards finished changing the flags, another person was pulled from the Gulf of Mexico. All refused medical help.
"They were just rather scared and exhausted from the experience," Talbert said.
In Destin, a father went into the water after his struggling son near Holiday Beach Resport about 1 p.m. They were rescued by Destin Beach Safety Patrol lifeguards.
"Whenever there's a fatality it's usually the would-be rescuer that is harmed," Destin Beach Safety Chief Joe D'Agostino said. "We really advise to call 911 for help."
D'Agostino said lifeguards went off duty at 4:30 p.m. A call then came in just after 5 p.m. about one adult man and two young girls in distress near Crystal Beach Park.
D'Agostino and a team of lifeguards and firefighters redeployed to assist the swimmers, but other beach-goers were able to pull them to safety before they arrived.
The two girls did not require medical attention, but the man was not breathing. Rescuers performed CPR on him before he was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in Santa Rosa Beach.
His name has not been released and his condition was unavailable Friday night.
"While we were on service, we had the situation managed," D'Agostino said. "But we can't be out there 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
On Okaloosa Island, lifeguards patrolled the beach Friday to warn people to stay out of the water Friday.
"The surf is big and very dangerous and there are rip currents all over the place," said Tracey Vause, Okaloosa County's beach safety division chief. "We're putting a lot of time and effort into making contact with everyone on the beach we can."
Forecast models show surf conditions will be rough through the weekend, although flags may be changed to yellow on Sunday, Vause said. Rough surf is also expected Monday through Wednesday.
"We're watching and monitoring the weather and water closely," Talbert said. "The weather is beautiful and folks want to get out there, but we've had those storms and the sandbars get scalloped and drop off. Rip currents are more prevalent"But hey...Top Ramen tastes a whole lot better when you eat it off of a Granite Countertop. (Mr & Mrs Too Much Homebuyer)
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04-10-2009, 08:58 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
- Grayton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach
Please I hope this thread doesn't go where the last one did. Let's stay positive about our visitors and locals involved. These are trying times and we all need to be thankful for each other. Many people were helped today thank God!
Last edited by ItzKatzTime; 04-10-2009 at 08:59 PM.
04-10-2009, 11:41 PM #3
04-11-2009, 11:00 AM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- Historic Old Point Washington
I used to get in the rough water and had a problem once, but was able to get out of it........but when we were growing up it wasn't a problem getting into high surf...now....it scares me.
04-11-2009, 03:19 PM #5
04-11-2009, 03:32 PM #6
I believe everything changed when Erin and Opal hit in 1995. Before that, the beaches were deep and wide with sugar-white sand, and the Gulf floor was flat, soft and wonderful. Opal was the first major hurricane to hit around this area in over 20 years--and it was a doozy! She flattened most of our dune systems and coastal structures, and rearranged the Gulf floor and sandbars which contributed to riptide formation. Since then we've had quite a few hits and misses that did further damage and re-arranging--hence more riptides. Moreover, Florida's propensity to suck and blow sand and shell-shards from offshore back onto the beaches, isn't making the situation any better.
Last edited by SHELLY; 04-11-2009 at 03:38 PM.But hey...Top Ramen tastes a whole lot better when you eat it off of a Granite Countertop. (Mr & Mrs Too Much Homebuyer)
04-11-2009, 10:48 PM #7
I have noticed since Opal in many areas from the shore to the first sand bar it gets deep very fast. It use to be much shallower off the beach. In many areas a few yards out it is waist to chest deep. If you do not realize what you are doing you can end up in a "river" and out you go!
Geography or attitudes?
Geography may cause more rip currents or stronger currents, but IMO attitudes are what actually get you IN the water in the first place.
04-12-2009, 10:06 PM #9
People were discussing whether or not recent hurricanes had changed the geography of the beaches/ocean floor and if that could be the reason why we see more incidents.
I think it's more of a change in attitudes than geography based on my observations.
Geography may have caused a slight change in severity, but that's moot if you are responsible and respectful of the conditions. A stronger current doesn't make a difference if you aren't in the water.
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04-13-2009, 07:57 AM #11
Here's the boring scientific explanation.
In Walton County, the "geology" (not "geography") has been altered since the impacts of Opal and ongoing storms as Shelly said. Actually, the more accurate word would be more along the lines of coastal geomorphology since these are fairly recent changes. Typically, when a storm hits, all three parts of a beach are impacted, the beach, the dunes, and the offshore sand bars. What is most readily observed is the loss of beach width; reduction in dune size or height depending on the size of the storm; and less noticeable is the reduction in offshore sand bar height and scour holes leading to increased water depth offshore.
In times of recovery, the system recovers in the following order, first beach width recovers leading to wide beaches with very low elevation. Then as the beach builds in width, the sand on the back part of the beach begins to dry out and over time will be blown into the dunes. At the same time, more sand is slowly brought back in by the waves along the beach front so that more beach and dune recovery can occur. Unfortunately, the longest recovery time is for the offshore bar systems and the overall underwater system. That is because this is the area where less sand is actually moving around to fill in some of the places that have been scoured out due to storms.
So, this is why we see a number of rip channels where rip surrents can be established, they are low spots in the offshore bar system and scoured areas in the nearshore areas. I would also think another reason why you hear of more actual rescues is because of more people and better reporting.
I hope this helps.
04-13-2009, 08:49 AM #13
I was thinking the more people theory as well. Great post. With that said, maybe people could be educated about the change. Often times while surfing people will swim out and I will warn them to be careful. The response is often, "we have been doing this for a long time!" Basically, mind your own business. Of course when they get in trouble guess who they call for help!
04-13-2009, 09:07 AM #14
We first discovered the Seagrove Beach area in 1991 and it has become our annual family vacation destination every summer since. I'll never forget our amazement at the changes to the beaches the summer we returned after Opal. Being from the midwest we had no concept of what geographic changes actually take place as a result of a hurricane. Obviously, tornados take down structures, trees etc., but don't leave a lasting impact on the landscape.
Thanks for the geology lesson! Just curious if there was the same sort of impact to the offshore bar system and and underwater system after Ivan and Dennis? Being able to follow the impact those two storms had on the dunes online was incredible!
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