Texas man dies after being pulled from Gulf in South Walton
SANTA ROSA BEACH — A 47-year-old Texas man died Tuesday after he was pulled from the Gulf of Mexico in South Walton County, officials say.
Michael Willard Bratcher was in the water just west of the Walton Dunes Beach Access when several bystanders noticed he was in distress, Beach Safety Director David Vaughan said.
Double red flags were flying at the time.
One of the bystanders tried to rescue Bratcher. After he was pulled onto the beach, Walton County sheriff’s deputies and crews from the South Walton Fire District arrived and took over lifesaving efforts, according to a field case report from the Sheriff’s Office.
Bratcher was taken to Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Bratcher was one of 11 people pulled from the Gulf in South Walton on Tuesday. There were 18 rescues before 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to officials.