After Multiple Drownings at Alabama Beaches, Rescue Officials Talk Safety

The Gulf Coast has seen huge crowds this holiday weekend on the beaches, but also some tragedy. A 33-year-old man from Mississippi drowned Sunday afternoon in the waters near Perdido Pass. His death brings the number of drownings to four this year on Alabama Beaches.

On Friday, a man drowned in the Gulf at Fort Morgan just two weeks after a man drowned just a mile down the road. Back in May, a track athlete from Pennsylvania drowned in Gulf Shores.

While beachgoers and boaters focused on enjoying a day off of work, law enforcement and rescue officials are working to keep everyone safe during the 4th of July holiday.

“If you look out in the Gulf right now, you can see rafts far out there. The best thing is not to venture out past the sand bar on a raft because if the wind changes, it will push you even further away from shore to where you can’t paddle back,” Orange Beach Safety Chief Melvin Shepard said.

After a Mississippi man drowned Sunday afternoon near Perdido Pass, Orange Beach Surf Rescue is urging swimmers to pay attention to the flags.

“The pass has a strong current moving in and out, so people always need to be aware of the strong currents and understand that we do keep red flags there year-round because of that,” Shepard said.

On the water, marine officers patrol for dangers to boaters.

“Most of the things we’re looking for are safety violations like operating unsafely if their legs or any limb is hanging over the side of the boat,” Sgt. Jody Kelley with Marine Patrol explained.


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