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water rescues

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Smiling JOe, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    You guys need to be careful if in the water down here. Today was another red flag day, with moderate waves but strong rip currents. Panama City Beach rescue hauled out a good 5-8 ppl, and reports from Sandestin area were that they pulled out so many people that they stopped counting. Red Flag =dangerous water. Let's not have another last year. Too many people died in the water along our beach. I'm sure we will hear better counts on tomorrow's news.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  2. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    You're right. The March 23 issue of the Walton Sun says:

    "It started shortly before noon on Wednesday, an almost constant stream of calls for water rescues along Old U.S. Highway 98. Before the day had ended, approximately two dozen people had been rescued in Walton County, including at least two children."

    Lucky nobody was hurt this time.

    Have you ever been in a rip current? Is it strong enough to pull kids out when they're just wading? Or is the danger really to swimmers that get swept further out unexpectedly?
     
  3. chrisv

    chrisv Beach Fanatic

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    Smaller children can be swept out when just wading. Of course the deeper you are, the less purchase you have to keep from being pulled out, so your size matters less.

    My wife and her sister took the kids to the beach behind the Crab Trap today. She told me there were red flags flying there, but that at Pompano Joe's only the yellow ones were up- sounds like someone missed the call at Pompano Joe's; hopefully that will be corrected before something tragic happens. She was incredulous at the number of people in the water, even kids whose parents were just watching from their chairs, with the red flags up. I guess you can only tell people so much- they paid to come down here and they are going to swim....
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila SoWal Insider

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    My family and I took a trip to Cancun several years ago at Thanksgiving. We stayed right on the beach, but the riptides were so treacherous we told all the kids in our group to stay out of the water. We spent our time by the pool and the guys took a day trip to Cozumel to scuba dive.

    All in all, our trip had been almost perfect. As we took one last look from the sun deck of our condo we saw someone in the surf. As we tried to decide if someone was clowning or in serious trouble, our teenage son jumped up jumped over the seawall and dove in. Shoes, belt, pants. His Dad and I had 0 time to react. We held our breath and within seconds he reappeared with a small child. He was able to swim parallel to the beach to get out of the rip and get her to the sand. Her aunts said she had just been wading in the surf and was carried out so quickly they couldn't get to her. This all happened within the matter of seconds.

    He knew CPR, the manager of our condo had called 911 so paramedics were on scene within minutes. Glad to say this story had a happy ending.

    However, the majority of them do not. We were all weak in the knees when this was over. The enormity of what had unfolded humbled all of us. Our son had been a camp counselor for several years so his training played a big part in the outcome. But......that doesn't always save lives. Riptides are not forces to be reckoned with!

    Sorry to be long winded. Point is see Red? Stay out of the water! Enjoy it from the beach.
     
  5. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    People get in trouble when they try to fight the current, which causes panic. Once you start panicking, then you ARE in trouble. No doubt rip currents are dangerous, but people make the mistake of trying to swim back to shore, and find themselves swimming against the current. Big miskake. I have been caught in quite a few, and over time, finally figured to just let the current carry me out a little, then swim at an angle until you are free. Then, just ride th waves back to shore.
     
  6. Waterman

    Waterman Beach Lover

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    :clap_1: Excellent post Joe! :clap_1:
     
  7. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter got any pics?

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    had to drag the youngest otter out last year :pissed: after telling him about 100 times not :nono1: to go to the sandbar at low tide. No major deal but he could not get to shore on his own. I have been more carefull since :oops: :cool:
     
  8. Rather B Paddlin

    Rather B Paddlin Beach Lover

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    Yes, anyone can get pulled out by a riptide. Even when just wading. The sand your feet are standing on flows out with the riptide right out from under your feet.

    As a teenager, I was trained as a lifeguard. The first rule was to do everything you could to retrieve someone with out entering the water. Secondly,you were never to enter the water with out an approved floatation device of some sort. Last year most of the people that drowned were the rescuers to be, not necessarily the person who was initially in trouble.

    We are at the beach 5-6 times a year. I do not allow my kids in the water under the yellow flag, let alone a red flag. Under a yellow flag the waves are way too choppy to enjoy the gulf any how. Go to the pool.

    Be safe.
     
  9. Cil

    Cil Beach Fanatic

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    Wow, that is quite a story, gotothebeachmom. Your son is a hero and I am glad everything turned out okay.
    My parents taught me well about riptides but it sure can be scary. Years ago as a teenager, I got carried out once on Nantucket. In those days, there were usually flags, but rarely were there guards.
    Every now and then we kids would go out to this one beach where there was absolutely nothing. We thought we were so cool. Then the current took me out by these rocks.
    I did what my dad had told me, and everything was fine--but it sure can happen fast.
     
  10. Sheila

    Sheila SoWal Insider

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    Thanks Cil,

    We thought he was pretty heroic. He doesn't like to talk about it, even now.
    Every thing happened so quick, we were very lucky. In retrospect when you think of all the things that "could" have happened it's a miracle the outcome was a resuce and not a double tragedy.

    I could have never understood why the little girl's aunt left her to play in the water. The child could not even swim!

    I just hope more folks heed the warnings this year.
     
  11. BeachDreamer

    BeachDreamer Beach Fanatic

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    That is an amazing story. A teenager in our church attempted a rescue with more tragic results. The victim was not able to be saved, and the rescuer was in a coma for months before awaking with brain damage. But he will always be a hero to us. It takes guts to dive out there towards a drowning person and attempt to save them at the risk of your own life. I know you must be proud of your son.
     
  12. Sheila

    Sheila SoWal Insider

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    Very proud and very thankful. They grow from babies to adults in the blink of an eye.
     

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