Swimmers pulled from water during double red flag day on Panama City Beach

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Five people were rescued from rough surf behind Long Beach Resort Tuesday afternoon. Double red flags are flying and the Gulf is closed to swimmers. Panama City Beach and Bay County leaders are urging the public to stay out of the water.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach officials said they were pulling distressed swimmers out of the Gulf of Mexico and writing tickets Tuesday as swimmers ignored warnings and ventured into the rough surf.

City officials said their resources were stretched thin as they performed water rescues and worked to keep people out of the surf. Five people were rescued from rough surf behind Long Beach Resort Tuesday afternoon. Four of them were transported to a local hospital and a 16-year-old is in critical condition, officials said.

“It is too dangerous and it is double red flags,” said Debbie Ward, the spokeswoman for Panama City Beach. “It is not safe.”

Tropical Storm Claudette stirred up gulf waters this week and created deadly rip currents that have not yet subsided.

Also, a cold front with strong winds is continuing those rip currents Tuesday.

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