Five swimmers were rescued this Sunday afternoon at Navarre Beach near walkover #7, near Emerald Surf Condominiums. The dispatch information was initially for two swimmers who were in trouble about 300 yards off shore. When lifeguards arrived to the scene they reported five swimmers needing rescue. Multiple agencies responded, including Navarre Beach Fire Department, Holley-Navarre Fire District, Lifeguard Ambulance Service and Navarre Beach Lifeguards. Lifeguards were the first into the water.
Navarre Beach Fire Chief Mike Howard said, “It is important to heed the red flag warnings, but the message we want to get out there today is please let us do our job. One of the five rescued entered the water to try and rescue the other swimmers.” That patient had to be airlifted by Lifeguard helicopter and was last known to be in critical condition. Emergency personnel were administering CPR as they were loading him into the helicopter.
According to Holley-Navarre Fire District Battalion Chief Howie Rounsaville, there were a total of five swimmers rescued. Two of those were transported to area hospitals by Lifeguard ambulance, one was airlifted, and two refused treatment on-scene.
Swimmers are reminded to heed the flag warnings. Red flag means dangerous conditions exist either in the form of high surf or rip currents. Even strong swimmers should not enter the Gulf.
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