Double-red flags close Gulf waters along Alabama beaches

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GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Lifeguards in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have pulled eight people from the dangerous surf conditions this week. Wednesday double red flags were posted closing the gulf waters as conditions are now even more dangerous.

“The water is closed. Please stay out of the water,” could be heard coming from a Gulf Shores Police vehicle patrolling the beaches Wednesday morning. The wind was screaming out of the east. The Gulf waters churning up huge waves that are crashing onto Alabama’s beaches prompting safety personnel to post double-red flags closing the waters of the gulf to swimmers.

“I have never seen it like this,” says Joey Hadley, who was walking along the beach with his wife while their three kids played in the surf. That prompted a visit from an Orange Beach lifeguard to warn them of the dangers. “She just said, ‘You can’t even be in the water at all because of the double red flags,” Hadley said. “You can have your feet right at the edge but they were up to their knees and you can’t even be in like that, which we didn’t know.”

Huddled behind a beach box in Gulf Shores, Jeremy Bryant noticed the increase in patrols along the beach. “They’ve actually been doing really good riding back and forth telling all the new people they’re not supposed to swim and everybody is aware,” Bryant said.

Easily not the best beach day with the wind blasting sand on everything and everyone. Leave it to 12-year-old Ellie Tomlin and her siblings to find a solution — a makeshift pool on the beach. “We dug it to get out of the wind because the sand was blowing all over us and we could swim in it instead of going out in the big waves.”

It’s not just those big waves that are a concern. Rip currents easily disguised by the rough surf can be deadly — all the more reason to stay out of the water.

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