Swimmer Ignores Double Red Flags, Drowns in the Gulf

Deputies from the Walton Sheriff’s Beach Unit responded to a report of a swimmer in distress near Miramar Beach off of Scenic Gulf Drive Saturday afternoon.

The first Deputies arrived at 2:16 p.m. and began a rescue attempt. After a great deal of effort due to the dangerous surf conditions, the swimmer was pulled from the water by deputies and several private citizens.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, and was identified as Ronald J. Hallquist, 52, of Walton, Kentucky.

The victim’s family was with him at the beach. Due to surf conditions, double red flags were flying at the time of the incident and the water had been closed to swimmers.

The South Walton Fire District and the Walton County Emergency Management assisted with the rescue attempt.