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Panama City Beach to Issue Fines for Violating Double-Red Flag Warning

Panama City has increased the penalty concerning a new beach safety ordinance created last year. Beachgoers who swim while two red flags are flying, signifying that the water is closed, are now subject to heavy fines, and even arrest. The decision came Thursday, July 9 during a Panama City Beach City Council meeting.

City Manager Tony O’Rourke said first offense citations will cost violators up to $500, whereas prior to 2020 a first offense merely resulted in a warning. He claimed that the penalty has become so steep because those who swim while double red flags are flying put not only their lives in danger, but the lives of first responders as well. A second offense can result in up to 60 days in jail.

This summer, there have already been several fatal drownings reported at Panama City Beach that occurred while double red flags were flying. In 2018, there were 12 such drownings, and the year before there were 10.

″$500 will be cheap compared to their life,” O’Rourke said.

About the Florida Beach Flag Warning System

The beach flag warning system can be found in some form on recreational waterfronts throughout the world. The intention is to clearly notify beachgoers of the current water and weather conditions so they can exercise the appropriate amount of caution. This is especially helpful when a lifeguard is not on duty.

If you are visiting Florida, or simply aren’t familiar with the system, take the time to learn what the warning flags mean:

  • Green flag: Low hazard, calm conditions. Exercise caution.
  • Yellow flag: Medium hazard. Moderate surf and/or currents present.
  • Red flag: High hazard. This signifies high surf and/or strong currents.
  • Double red flags: Water is closed to the public. Do not swim under any circumstances.
  • Purple flag: Dangerous marine life spotted.

By following the rules and swimming with caution, we are sure that you and your loved ones will have a great time enjoying Panama City’s beaches. Stay safe!

If you or a loved one has been injured while on a beach in Florida, our Panama City personal injury lawyercan help you receive compensation to pay for your medical expenses. Contact ustoday to schedule a free consultation.


Contact The Pittman Firm, P.A. Today!

Hiring of a Florida injury lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. The firm will be happy to provide you with more information regarding Attorney Pittman’s qualifications and answer any questions you may have regarding your legal options.

Contact The Pittman Firm, P.A. now for the high-quality legal representation you need for your personal injury case.
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