Walton County looks to better educate swimmers

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 04:03 PM.

Walton County has done a tremendous job during the Operation Dry Spring Break, sending the message to breakers that underage drinking was not to be tolerated by issuing arrests and party busts. The Walton County Sheriff's Office has the power to issue citation to those swimmers who disregard double red flags and lifeguard's orders. So far this year, WCSO has filed eight violations with the clerk of court. The TDC Code Enforcement Officer has that ability as well. The non-criminal citations are $100.


"I think the sheriff's department does a good job — they have 26 miles of beach to patrol," Sanchez said. "They can give citations, but as soon as they pass by, people will get back in the water. We've got to get people to fully understand the dangers."


Last year, WCSO received a little bit of flack from country singer Jason Aldean when he was issued his a citation for swimming on a double red flag day. The celebrity took his frustration to Facebook saying, "Dear officer who gave me a ticket on the beach today for swimming in the water with double red flags...thanks for the warning Barney Fife."


While citations may be tangible reminder to heed the warnings of the colorful flags, safety starts with the individual swimmers, Sanchez said.

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