Dauphin Island adds beach warning flags ahead of summer season
DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) – Flying over Dauphin Island’s public beach is a new safety measure that is hoped to save lives.
This is a beach flag warning system and is similar to what other areas of the Gulf Coast use and are noticed by visitors to the island.
“It was about time, thank you for finally putting it together, that was my honest opinion,” said Kay Wilson.
“I really think it’s a good idea,” said Jean Folsom. “People don’t realize how dangerous this kind of thing can be.”
The flags are new this month and they are currently in four locations on the island.
Depending on the conditions, they will fly green, yellow, red, double red or purple flags
“Often the simplest things are the best,” said Dauphin Island public safety supervisor Troy Gorlott. “It’s something as soon as you pull into the parking lot or stop on the island, you can see and know that red means bad, yellow means warning and green means good.”
The National Weather Service says rip currents are the number one weather-related cause of death along the northern Gulf Coast.
Again this week, three swimmers nearly drowned in the water off Dauphin Island.
The new flags are just part of a layered approach to keeping visitors safe.
“We’re also using flashing signs and we’ll also be increasing beach patrols this year to let people out of town say hey, here’s what a rip current looks like and steps to keep them safe. while they’re here having a great time,” Gorlott said.
While people love the safety precautions, they hope visitors follow the flags and know what each color means.
“Just make sure they understand what the red flag is, it’s not an Alabama or University of Alabama flag or anything like that,” Folsom said.
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