Beach rescue teams remained busy throughout the day, protecting swimmers from dangerous rip currents. At mid day-- conditions were so rough that officials upgraded single red flags to --double red flags.
Usually, beach patrol puts up the flags in the early morning hours after evaluating conditions, but after receiving a large numbers of calls, officials felt it was best if swimmers stayed out of the water.
Beach patrol crews road up and down the beaches, Monday afternoon, asking swimmers to heed their warning. "The surf is getting pretty rough out there and we want to advise all people to stay out of the water." Captain Joe Cocco with the Panama City Beach Fire Department responded to one call near beach access 68--- that almost left one swimmer lifeless.
"I noticed some people screaming and pointing out into the water and I happened to look and there was a father and daughter stranded out there. I didn't have a board like around me so I just ran out there and helped him." Cocco says.
But authorities say your best bet: is not to take any chances. "Good samaritans need to be very cautious about entering the water because they can unfortunately die just as easy as the victims can so we recommend that they wait for beach and surf before they jump in that water."
In total, close to 50 were pulled from Walton & Bay County waters. The Bay County Sheriff's helicopter assisted Beach and Surf by flying over the beaches while asking swimmers to exit the Gulf.
"Anything can happen out here because we're not everywhere so we really count on people to use common sense. it's terrifying and it scares us frankly. it is no easy doing this job." Sgt. Steve Nagy says.
Last week in Walton County, 2 swimmers died because of rip currents. Stay with News 13 for an updated surf advisory report.