ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) -
By noon Monday, lifeguards had taken down the double red flags flying above Orange Beach but search teams still hadn't found a missing swimmer from South Carolina.
Beach Safety Director Melvin Shepherd said differences among the flags flying along the beaches behind various condominium properties may have contributed to confusion for guests.
He said that the city was flying double red flags indicating the water was off limits, Sunday but other areas of the beach had different flags flying.
Shepard said he hopes to establish some sort of standard to avoid that confusion.
"In the future, we're going to ask them, if the city issues a double flag warning that they follow suit and they flag them as well," he said.
Shepard said authorities have given up hope of finding the missing man alive.
Sunday, a vacationer from South Carolina was swimming when the currents swept him away. Witnesses said his 14-year-old son, who was in the water with him, tried to rescue him but was unsuccessful. The teen made it back to shore safely, according to Shepard.
Since then, the beaches double red flags put up by the city have been taken down. He said that was good news for swimmers, but he still had a warning for anyone who planned to go in the water.
"It's still dangerous in the water there's still some strong currents, some strong lateral east to west currents so we're asking people if they do enter the water to do so with extreme caution and be safe," Shepard said.
But Shepard said no matter what flag is flying, beachgoers should always use caution when entering the gulf waters.
"There's currents that pull on you. There's always slight tidal changes, and then conditions can change rather quickly," he said.
That's a lesson longtime resident Opal White knows well.
"It's very dangerous, the rip tides are very dangerous, and people that come from out of state don't realize that it is so dangerous, and they don't watch for it," White said.
Mobile Police are investigating an apparent shooting that left two people dead and one person injured. Witnesses say it happened around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Campus Quarters Apartments on University Boulevard.
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