Tragedy in south Walton County Thursday afternoon as two people have drowned in two separate incidents, the first drownings of the year.
The first occurred shortly after 1 PM at Grayton Beach State Park. 55-year-old William S. Cave of Tallahassee when he fell from an overturned kayak. Also in the water was his 14-year-old son.
Walton County Search and Rescue says the teenager was able to swim about a hundred yards to shore safely. His father was unable to make it and drowned. Red flags were flying at the time urging extreme caution on the part of anyone entering the gulf.
The second call of the day came shortly before 4 PM Thursday several miles away in the Miramar Beach area near the Whale’s Tale Restaurant.
Four people in the Gulf apparently got into a distress situation. Two bystanders went in and were able to rescue one person. Two others floated back on a raft and the last swam back on her own.
One of the good Samaritans did not make it back and drowned in the rescue attempt. He was believed to be swimming against a rip current and a long shore current. Bystanders jumped in to help him, but it was too late. He was identified as 47-year-old Scott D. Johnson of Urbana, Illinois.
Following the second incident, both of which were under red warning flag conditions, the beaches were all closed and are under a double red flag at this time.