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3 Alabama men die after swimming at Florida beach

Single red flags were posted at the beach throughout the week, including on Friday, to indicate high-hazard surf and rip current conditions.
Panama City Beach Florida Gulf
Posted at 2:19 PM, Jun 22, 2024

Three young men from Alabama have died from likely drowning after becoming distressed while swimming in the Gulf off of a Florida Panhandle beach, authorities said.

The men went swimming shortly after arriving at Panama City Beach Friday afternoon, according to a Facebook post from the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office received an emergency call about the distressed swimmers shortly after 8 p.m. and rescuers searched the water in the area of Crescent Beach off of Thomas Drive. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted.

The men were found separately and eventually pronounced dead at local hospitals, the sheriff's office said. Their identities have not been released.

"I have such a heavy heart this morning about the loss of three young visitors to our community. I'm praying for their family and ask that you do the same. It is such a tragedy," said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford in a Facebook post, thanking first responders for their efforts.

Single red flags were posted at the beach throughout the week, including on Friday, to indicate high-hazard surf and rip current conditions.