South Gulf Fire Rescue performs second rescue of Memorial Day weekend

South Gulf Fire Rescue has already rescued two stranded swimmers this Memorial Day weekend.

With more festivities to come this summer, officials urge beachgoers to exercise caution and use proper safety equipment.

“(The water rescue team) just got dispatched to their second one at Salinas Park,” said Gulf County Emergency Management Director Matt Herring. “It’s a paddleboarder in distress.”

“Yesterday, they had a 15-year-old kid on a kayak who fell off and had no life preserver on, and they had to go save him. Luckily, he was able to hold on to the kayak, but had he gotten separated from the kayak, that could have been a real situation too.”

In the north end of the county, search and rescue crews continue to search the Chipola River for the body of the victim of a probable drowning, which occurred after a man fell from his fishing boat on Saturday.

In the coming weeks, Herring said he would like to work with local fire departments, including South Gulf, to generate awareness of the importance of water safety and using proper flotation devices.

“We would like to encourage those out on the water to wear a personal flotation device, whether they’re kayaking, paddleboarding or boating,” Herring said. “We want our locals and visitors to be safe.”

Beach flags along Cape San Blas have been yellow and red for the past two days – indicating that their may be some rough surf and that beachgoers should exercise appropriate caution.


Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.