Officials say a man decided to go swimming at Miramar Beach in south Walton Tuesday afternoon. They say he quickly ran into trouble, and Beach Patrol officer Jaime Byers went in after him.
Byers also got caught in the riptide during the rescue attempt, but others were able to provide some help as he neared shore. He and the victim were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital, but the victim was pronounced dead.
Red flags have been flying on Walton County beaches since the weekend. A low pressure system created treacherous conditions throughout the Panhandle, and the water is still stirred up.
Two other swimmers were also rescued Tuesday afternoon at Miramar Beach, as well as one at nearby Seagrove Beach. Double red flags had been posted by late afternoon Tuesday, but the beach patrol was still having to order some die-hard swimmers out of the surf.
Meanwhile, in Bay County four people were rescued in separate instances when they got into trouble while swimming in the rough surf. All four are reported to be in good condition.