PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach is expecting elevated rip current risks starting Friday afternoon and going through the weekend.
Especially on a busy weekend like the Fourth of July, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for the color of the flags.
“We’re probably going to be switching to single red flags tomorrow. We may even go double-red. Normally there’s a flag post every 500 yards or so out on the beach, and that’s where people will get the warning about the condition of the water,” said Sergeant Mike Morris from the By County Sheriff’s Office.
Staying extra cautious in a time that the water condition is displayed as double red flags isn’t only crucial for your safety, but you could get into legal trouble as well.
Not only does swimming in double red flags put lifeguards in danger, but also the people around you.
“We’ve also had citizens that have had to go out and try and save kids that have been swept out on double-red flag days,” said Sergeant Morris.
In the case of a single red flag, or even a yellow flag, you are allowed to get in the water, but it can still be dangerous.
If you feel that you are starting to get pulled into the current, Sergeant Morris suggested that you swim parallel to the shore.
Also, staying calm, bringing a float, and using your best judgement are all ways to stay safe.