BLUE MOUNTAIN BEACH, Fla. — South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Advanced Life Support (ALS) units transported an approximately 60-year-old man in critical condition Thursday afternoon following a drowning incident in Blue Mountain Beach.
The incident originated at 12:02 p.m. when beach patrons notified SWFD’s Tower 31 lifeguard that bystanders had pulled an unresponsive, adult male from the water approximately 0.4 miles to the west of Tower 31.
The lifeguard responded to the scene near the 2400 block of W. County Highway 30A to confirm bystanders were administering aid, then assumed patient care. Further beach safety resources and Walton County Sheriff’s Office deputies then arrived on-scene and assisted in lifesaving measures.
Emergency personnel then transported the man from the beach at 12:14 p.m. and transferred patient care to SWFD ALS at Ed Walline Beach Access.
SWFD Squad 3 and Rescue 3 firefighters then initiated ALS interventions and transported the patient in critical condition to a local hospital. Lifesaving measures were in progress upon arrival at the hospital, where care was transferred to emergency room medical staff. SWFD is unable to release any additional patient information at this time.
Single red flags were flying at the time of the incident, which indicate high surf hazards and dangerous rip currents are present.
Due to the number of rescues and potential for further life-threatening injuries, SWFD Beach Safety changed beach flags to double red to close the water to swimmers and boogie boarders. Lifeguards encourage all beach patrons to heed the beach flag warning system for their safety and the safety of first responders. For daily beach flag updates, text SAFETY to 31279.
SWFD would like to thank the responding Walton County Sheriff’s Office deputies for the assistance during this call.