What do yellow, red and double red flags have in common? A high probability that a swimmer in the Gulf will ignore their warnings.
Each week the Bay County Sheriffs Office holds a surf rescue training session in the Gulf waters. The beach precinct holds training sessions two and three times a week. The twenty-two first responders invited the media to catch a glimpse of the work they do. On double red flag days they are the officers you see urging swimmers out of the rough waters and they patrol beaches daily to ensure swimmer safety. The patrol uses various rescue tools like the rescuer reel. This device is used when responders can see the victim and can get out to them even from far distances. Once the officer reaches the victim responders on shore pull them in. Lieutenant David Baldwin says this kind of rescue takes great skill and requires the teamwork by the responders on shore.