DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WKRG) — Three swimmers were rescued, one of them is in critical condition, after a near-drowning incident on Dauphin Island.
Island officials say the incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon when the fire department, Dauphin Island Public Safety officers and Dauphin Island Police Department were called to the beach near Raphael Semmes Street for a report of several people who went under.
Officials say when they arrived on the scene, the three swimmers had already been pulled from the water.
Jeff Collier, the Mayor of Dauphin Island, says a Coast Guard helicopter happened to be in the area when the swimmers went under and landed on the beach to provide aid.
One of the swimmers, a young female, was transported to the hospital by helicopter in critical condition. The other two patients are in stable condition and were taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Collier says the town tries their best to educate visitors on the conditions of the gulf.
“It’s an ever-challenging situation because we have so many visitors coming to the island that are from areas that aren’t accustomed to deal with a creature such as the gulf and it is incumbent upon us to try and get the information out to the extent that we can and we are always looking for ways to improve on that,” says Collier.
The island updates their app daily with the latest flag conditions and also has signage at the entrance to the island indicating if the surf is rough.
Island officials also recently installed visible flags that indicate the current conditions of the Gulf and when to stay out of the water.
The DIFRD offers their thoughts and prayers to those involved and the family and friends of the victims.