Sunshine + Double Red Flags for Destin
No need to cancel your trip if you are planning to vacation in Destin this week. The gulf waters will be closed until Friday due to rip currents, but the beaches will be open. Meteorologist James Spann says the following is the forecast for the central Gulf Coast:
- Dangerous rip currents will continue along the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach through Friday, but there will be little direct weather impact other than a stiff south breeze and tropical showers from time to time. There will be a pretty decent amount of sun each day along the Central Gulf Coast.
We always advise you begin each beach trip by checking the flag color for the day. The local flag warning system is universal across all of our beaches. For this week, expect double red flags through Friday.
Double Red Flag: Water is closed to public due to dangerous water conditions
Red Flag: High hazard due to surf and/or strong currents
Yellow Flag: Medium surf and/or current hazard
Green Flag: Low hazard and calm conditions, remain vigilant
Purple Flag: Marine pests present, such as jellyfish, stingrays or dangerous fish
Rip currents, powerful currents of water moving away from shore, are also something you should heed while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. These currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.
How to Survive a Rip Current:
- Don’t fight the current. It’s a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second, but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per secondâ€”faster than an Olympic swimmer.
- Relax and float to conserve energy. Staying calm may save your life.
- Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
- If you feel you can’t reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: Wave and yell…swim parallel!