MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The town of Dauphin Island is making sure that visitors are safe by installing a new flag warning system on its beaches.
“It’s a pretty simple thing. Pretty low tech simple thing, but it gets the word out,” said Troy Gorlott, the Public Safety Supervisor for Dauphin Island.
Dauphin Island installed a flag warning system about a month ago, to get information about rip currents out to the visitors of the beaches.
“The flag system is used up and down the coast, and with that, we’ll be universal through the whole Alabama coast,” said Gorlott.
The flags were flying on April 13, when a teenage girl and two other people were pulled from the rough surf. The girl later died in the hospital.
Dauphin Island averages about three drownings a year, and they want to bring that number down.
“When we have an incident it seems like it’s going to be out on the beach involves rip currents and water safety. The flags are just another way we can get the message out about rip currents and rip current safety to let everybody have fun and stay safe,” said Gorlott.
There are four flags along the island: on the East End beach, one at the Central Public, one on Bienville Boulevard heading toward the west end of the island and one on the West End beach.
“I honestly do think it’s important. You have so many people out of town that do come to Dauphin Island. You don’t want to come out and then be going home with one less family member,” said Cambria Ramsey, a Mobile County resident.
Town officials said they wanted to get the flags installed before the summer rush began.
“It’s there, it’s low tech, it’s right there when you pull up in the parking lot of the beaches. If it keeps one person safe, we’re good,” said Gorlott.
The flags will be changed every morning at 7 a.m. You can also see the rip current warnings on the town’s app, as well as the Dauphin Island Public Safety Facebook Page, and there are numerous rip current warning signs across the island.
Town officials said they will also be putting up signs explaining the meanings of the flags, which you can also see on the Public Safety Facebook Page.
Gorlott said they will also be increasing patrols on the beaches during peak times. Gorlott said he wants to educate visitors and swimmers about the dangers of the Gulf.