Swimmers rescued after rough sea swim
Saturday, 09 June 2012 21:03
Last Updated on Saturday, 09 June 2012 21:45
Two women from Alabama ventured into the Gulf for a swim during rough seas today and ended up in the hospital.
At 6:53 p.m. on June 9, the Navarre Beach Fire Department received a call from dispatch for a rough water rescue at 1847 Gulf Blvd. Upon arrival, the crew immediately saw that the two women were about 150 yards from shore. Capt. Shaun Hall retrieved the rescue board and swam out to the swimmers. Hall was able to reach the victims and secure the them onto the board, but was caught in a rip current. Hall was able to maintain his hold of both victims but was unable to reach the shore.
In the meantime, during the launch of the Sea Doo, a strong wave crashed into it flipping it onto firefighter Ed King, said Howard. King was pinned under the Sea Doo. Firefighter Kenny Taylor and Howard were able to get the Sea Doo off King but he suffered leg injuries as a result of the incident.
After getting the Sea Doo off King, Taylor launched the Sea Doo and reached Hall and the two females. One female was unconscious. After throwing Hall a life rope, Taylor brought the unconscious victim and Hall to shore.
“All three were exhausted and one was unconscious and of no help,” said Howard, “Shaun was wiped out and the other (conscious swimmer) was tired and couldn’t hang onto rope.”
After Hall and the unconscious victim were brought to shore, Taylor returned and retrieved the second victim. Those injured were transferred to the hospital. The water rescue occurred during a torrential rain storm and red flag conditions, meaning the surf was rough and swimming was not permitted. Howard said Hall was in stable condition, but no word yet on the severity of King’s injury.