More than 30 people rescued from rip currents near Florida’s Gulf Coast


WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (NewsNation) — Double red flag warnings weren’t enough to keep people off the beach. First responders in Walton County, Florida rescued more than 30 people from rip currents caused by Hurricane Laura.

There were many rescues in dangerous conditions because of the directional winds caused by Hurricane Laura. One lifeguard was rushed to the hospital after saving a swimmer who was stuck in a rip current. The lifeguard is now out of hospital.

“The initial tally is 31 water rescues,” David Vaughan, beach safety director for South Walton Fire District, told NewsNation affiliate WMBB.

Enforcement of the no-swim alert is handled by the Walton County Sheriff’s Department. This past weekend there were 22 beach ordinance violations, but only one citation was given.

“We are looking forward to our discussions with law enforcement partners about the best way to move forward, on enforcing the double red flags,” said Vaughan.

Double red flags indicate the beach is closed. However, visitors can still stay on the dry sand.

NewsNation affiliate WMBB contributed to this report.

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