ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Just before noon Monday, a rescue boat and jet ski scream out of Perdido Pass headed to the beach access at Cotton Bayou.
“I heard some people calling for help so I called 911,” says Perdido Beach Service employee Magan McInnis.
Two people caught in a rip current near the Four Seasons Pier were calling for help. As beachgoers started heading into the water so did McInnis. “I saw him going under so I grabbed my surfboard. I thought I could at least go out there and let him hold on to it until help arrives.”
Cell phone video shot by Haydee Segura shows McInnis in the water with at least four people hanging on to her surfboard as lifeguards arrive. “Two people that were drowning turned into four people and so everybody just held on to my board until help arrives and then the lifeguards got there and they did great and got everybody back in,” says McInnis.
But, their work wasn’t done. Two young girls were struggling in a rip current about a hundred yards away. Lifeguards were able to get them back to shore and into the arms of a grateful mother.
Lifeguards posted warning signs on the beach showing the location of those rip currents. Those signs give beachgoers like Billy Curran second thoughts about going for a swim. “Obviously concerning seeing that guy swept up in the undertow. Probably going to stay out of the water mostly.”
McInnis will be the first to tell you she is not a lifeguard. “I just gave them a float. I didn’t try to swim them in or anything,” but knowing what you are getting yourself into before you head into the gulf waters can be a lifesaver.