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Seventh Tourist Dies on a Florida Beach - The Danger Is in the Water

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A tourist has died on a Florida beach, at least the seventh in the past few weeks, as law enforcement pleads with the public to stay out of the water.

The most recent victim of deadly beach conditions is 60-year-old Debbie Szymanski. The Missouri native was vacationing at Panama City Beach when family members found her unconscious in the water Sunday.

According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Szymanski was hauled to the shore and rushed to the hospital where she was declared dead.

The New York Post reports Szymanski’s death was caused by a rip current.

After the fatality, the beach was closed as law enforcement begged the public to “PLEASE STAY OUT OF THE WATER.”

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Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a series of fatalities caused by violent undercurrents on the Florida coast.

In the days before Szymanski’s death, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office posted numerous warnings on Facebook about the deadly conditions at the beach, alerting the public that a single red flag warning was in effect.

The warnings on beach conditions were also in place Friday as three men entered the water and found themselves unable to escape a deadly rip current.

Would you swim under a red flag warning?

“The three arrived with their group of friends in Bay County yesterday just before 8PM,” the Bay County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Saturday post. “They checked into their rental and rushed out to get into the water. The three men were caught in a rip current shortly after entering the water.”

The men, visiting the state from Alabama, were all between 24- and 25-years old.

Just one day before these three men died, another set of tragedies played out on Florida beaches.

On June 20, a 19-year-old Oklahoma teen was caught in a rip current at Panama City Beach.

According to KOCO, the youth was pulled out to sea and eventually retrieved by lifeguards. All life-saving attempts failed to revive him. The teen, like other victims, entered the water under a red flag warning.

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On the same day the Oklahoma teen died, a similar tragedy played out on Florida’s Hutchinson Island.

There, a family of eight was enjoying a day at the beach when the parents were caught in a rip current.

While they struggled to escape, their six children were left powerless to do anything but watch from the safety of the shore. The parents were brought to land as first responders attempted CPR, but both were eventually declared dead at a local hospital.

Rip currents can extend hundreds of feet beyond the surf and are capable of pulling even experienced swimmers into deep water.


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Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard and is a husband, dad and aspiring farmer.
Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He is a husband, dad, and aspiring farmer. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard. If he's not with his wife and son, then he's either shooting guns or working on his motorcycle.
Location
Arkansas
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Military, firearms, history




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