Lifeguards make nearly 200 water rescues over holiday weekend

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Thousands of people are visiting Panama City Beach this holiday weekend, but many are not heeding the beach warning flags.

Bay County lifeguards have been busy since Friday making nearly 200 water rescues in the gulf, with more than 100 of those Sunday.

Lifeguard Drew Bronnenberg said single red flags have been flying so the water is open, but there is still a high risk for strong rip currents.

Lifeguards are also posting additional flags to warn swimmers of strong currents,

"We have no swim flags that we have on little PVC poles that we mark off rip currents. We just mark off those areas and go talk to people that we see go into those areas, tell them about rip currents." Bronnenberg said.

Bronnenberg added he understands people want to enjoy the water on their vacation so he is always happy to point out safer locations to swim when single red flags are flying.

"Come and talk to us. Ask us how the water is, where the dangerous waters are, how to spot a rip, just talk to us. We'll be glad to educate everyone," he said.

If double red flags are flying, the water is closed to the public.

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