Walton Co. Sheriff Deputies stay busy this Summer Season

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SOUTH WALTON It can happen in an instant.

You're in a crowded area along the beach, and your child goes missing.

This situation has been something Walton County Sheriff deputies have been dealing with all summer.

"We have gotten a lot of calls of missing children. Luckily they were found and unharmed,” said Catherine Rodriguez, Public Information Officer for WCSO.

Since May 28th officials have responded to more than 50 missing children cases along South Walton beaches.

The most they've seen in any summer season.

"There are a lot of people standing around, they have been drinking, and they are just not paying attention,” stated Rodriguez.

And beach patrol officials say a lot of the problem stems from visitors not being familiar with the area.

"Sometimes parents are unaware of where they are staying what condo they are at, they really get confused when they get down on the beach, even after they walk down from the beach access,” said Keith Parsons, of the Walton County Beach Patrol.

Officials say when you're in a crowded area, point out to your children what law enforcement are wearing or look like.

"Kids are really good at logos,” said Rodriguez.

But deputies say missing children aren't the only thing they've been dealing with.

Beach goers aren't paying attention to the flag system.

"Maybe at the resort or hotel some type of poster for right when they are checking in, and they are able to see it right then and there,” said Rodriguez.

Sheriff Deputies say this year they have been lucky that during many water-rescue cases there has been someone in the crowd who can perform CPR and help the child, way before EMS and officials arrive on scene.

Rodriguez says they hope to work a little closer with the county and hotel managers next summer, providing more information about the beach flag system.


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