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Grayton Beach Drowning

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by beachmouse, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    http://www.wmbb.com/gulfcoastwest/mbb/news.apx.-content-articles-MBB-2007-03-22-0008.html

    "The Walton County Sheriff's Office responded to a water rescue approximately 1pm today at Grayton Beach State Park. Emergency calls to 9-1-1 stated that there was an overturned kayak in the water that appears to be in trouble. Units from the Beach Patrol Unit immediately responded to the scene. It appears that an adult white male, approximately 55 years old, was kayaking with a juvenile boy, believed to be his son, when the kayak overturned. The son was able to swim 75-100 yards to shore but the father was not."

    Just a reminder kids, that calm as it usually is, the Gulf is not a swimming pool. Here's hoping this is the last fatality we get this year.
     
  2. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I had heard that the sirens were rolling all day. I know the flags were flying red and the Gulf was looking dangerous. This is a sad story. Where are their life jackets? There are days when when I don't wear one while kayaking, but I know when the water is a little ruff, my life jacket may be the only thing to save my life if I get dumped. I am really saddend by reading of this tragedy. Let this story remind us all that we never know how or when we may be plucked from life and returned to dust.
     
  3. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    :( ...I checked the beach cam before coming here and saw the red flags flying. I was wondering why more people were not on the beach. I wish people would wear those life jackets...they do save lives.
     
  4. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    :( So sad.
     
  5. DD

    DD SoWal Expert

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    :(
     
  6. Cil

    Cil Beach Fanatic

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    I am so sorry to hear this. :(
     
  7. supermom262

    supermom262 Beach Fanatic

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    Terrible. Doesn't red flag mean DON"T GO IN THE GULF -HIGH HAZARD? Doesn't that mean boats/kayaks/surfboards, not just swimmers? I am very sorry for this family, it is truly a terrible tragedy. People must realize those flags are for EVERYONE, we can prevent unnecessary accidents!

    I know I'm assuming the red flag was flying when they went in. If it wasn't my apologies. I just hate that someone has to die for attention to be drawn to safety!:(
     
  8. FLSunChaser

    FLSunChaser Beach Lover

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    There was also a drowning around 4 pm in Miramar Beach today. According to the Walton Sun, they double red flagged all the beaches in Walton County after the second drowning. I was driving down the beach road when all of the fire trucks were attempting the 2nd rescue, and was SHOCKED to see how many people don't pay attention to the red flags. There were so many people in the water. It's really a shame and it should be enforced a little better - - especially this time of year.
     
  9. TNJed

    TNJed Beach Fanatic

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    Single red means it's very dangerous in terms of undertow which means there's usually good waves for surfboards and kayaks if that's your thing, but not mandatory to stay out of the water.

    Only DOUBLE RED means everyone stays out.

    If that kayak was rented then I'm sure the renters liability insurance requires giving them vests. However, they can't make people wear them if that is the case.

    Either way, it is indeed sad. I hate to see that.
     
  10. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  11. Camp Creek Kid

    Camp Creek Kid Christini Zambini

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    Safety needs to start with the individual. Adults should heed the rules and make sure their kids do too. It is impossible to "enforce" the rules if people choose to disregard them.
     
  12. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    So sad.:(
     
  13. supermom262

    supermom262 Beach Fanatic

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    Even a single red flag means high risk! Why put your life in jeopardy? I know I'm freaked out about safety right now, but there are a lot of people here, sharing the same space. We all need to be looking out for one another and be alert. I don't want my kids to have to hear about drownings when there are red flags posted! I don't know if I'm making sense because this is so upsetting!
     
  14. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Ned is fairly close with his description of red flags, but let me clarify. Only double red flag means you will get a ticket from the Sheriff's office if you don't drown first. Surfboarders can still go in during double red, with the key part of the rule being that the floatation device must be secured to your person. Kayaks would not meet this rule as they do not come with leashes. I am not certain but the way I understand it, you could kayak if you were wearing a life vest, but get ready to lose something like your kayak or paddle.

    I know that one local rental business recently changed ownership, but from what I used to see in the past from many companies (which may not have followed the rules to the "T," I don't recall seeing life vests tied to the kayaks and paddles that are often delivered. I would think that they would issue warnings encouraging the rentors to not go out in bad weather and to look for the warning flags as a guide -- yellow meaning take precaution! Red meaning - you shouldn't risk it, and double red -- not allowed.

    Today, after hearing of the first drowning, I got to thinking. It seems that we never have just one person drown on a day when the rip currents are bad. I know the Fire Dept is in charge of flying the flags, and on days like today, they probably spend much time on alert and don't always have a chance to change the flags. (now, the lifeguards are out and about in some places so they can change those flags) Anyhoo, I was thinking that immediately after the first water rescue on any day, maybe they should raise a black flag. I think everyone would have a clue of what that might mean -- sign of mourning. It could possibly stop someone else from taking the risk of going into the Gulf. When the black flag is flying, you should keep your butt on shore.
     
  15. seacrestkristi

    seacrestkristi Beach Fanatic

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  16. supermom262

    supermom262 Beach Fanatic

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    Thank SJ, present your idea the the TDC/Sherrifs/Fire Dept and whomever else are the decision makers!
     
  17. TNJed

    TNJed Beach Fanatic

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    It is a good idea, BUT more than likely they would never do that. They like to keep these type things (ie. drownings/shark attacks) as quiet as possible and raising a black flag may be seen by tourists as "death beach."
     
  18. Teresa

    Teresa Moderator Staff Member

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    it was red flag when we drove out onto grayton around 4:30 this afternoon. we saw beach patrol and the medical lift helicopter flying over. then we saw the FD change to double red flag around 6pm. we knew something had happened.

    listen, if it is a red flag, just stay out of the gulf. why wait for a double red flag? it could be too late.
     
  19. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I know the TDC is all about making everything warm and sunny with cheery smiles. Look at Seamore the Beach Flag Crab. I guess I see him educating the kids. Since usually, it is the adults whom drown, maybe we need something like the black flag to educate the adults. :idontno:
    After numerous drownings in the area over the last few years, I suggested that rather than flying the second red flag with the icon of the no swimming for Closed Water, that second flag should have an icon of a man freaking out and sinking -- either that or a black flag with skull and crossbones (POISON symbol)

    Some days around here, it is death beach. I can think of nothing better than national news promoting our flag warning system. Then news stories might be something along these lines, "in the past, they had multiple drownings in a single day, now with the new black flag of mouring, they have decreased the number of drownings on the days when the waters are really fierce with strong rip currents."... I would rather see more people not going in the water on these days, especially when other people have drowned only a few miles away, and this will keep if from becoming death beach. If you saw a black flag being raised on the beach, wouldn't you be questioning what is up with that, and think twice about going into the water on that day. Don't think it didn't make the national news when we had about 15 drownings and even more rescues in one day in Walton and Okaloosa Counties, back around 2005. Maybe flying a black flag prevents 14 of the drownings and in turn, prevents the death beach from becoming death beach. If you are not being proactive in today's world, you are following behind.
     
  20. supermom262

    supermom262 Beach Fanatic

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    SJ, you are so right!:clap_1:

    Exactly!

    I wish it was just a 1 red flag system and they closed the water, period. It would be easier to police and save more lives!
     

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