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Beachgoers form human chain to rescue distressed swimmers on Panama City Beach

Posted at 11:26 AM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 11:26:49-04

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WTXL) — For the second time, beachgoers in Panama City Beach formed a human chain to rescue swimmers who should not have been in the water.

The Panama City Beach Police Department says that there were 40 water rescues performed in Panama City Beach on Sunday because of extremely strong rip currents. At least one person was killed in the wake of rip currents from then Hurricane Barry.

According to WMBB, Panama City Beach Fire Rescue, Surf and Beach Patrol as well as Panama City lifeguards responded to over 100 water incidents this weekend in total.

That day, double red flags were flying, though no one seemed to heed the warning.

Beachgoers even made a human chain outside of Treasure Island condominium resort on Sunday in attempt to save some distressed swimmers.

However, health officials told WMBB they strongly advise against human chains as it could result in more drownings and is still illegal, no matter how heroic the act. Double red flags mean it is illegal to enter the water.

If you see a swimmer in distress, officials ask that you call 911 to tell them where to go. They are also reminding swimmers to pay attention to the flag system and follow all rules.