FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WALA) - The City of Gulf Shores closed access to all public waters Monday, June 10 after the fourth drowning in 24 hours.
Sunday, two people drowned and a third was presumed drowned, all in separate incidents near Fort Morgan.
The first happened off Plantation Road Sunday afternoon.
The body of 25-year-old Matthew Hattaway of Bossier, Louisiana was found about 3 p.m. A relative spotted him floating in the surf.
The second happened not far away near Sea Breeze Circle.
The body of 51-year-old John Hogue of Overland, Kansas was found a few hours later. He had been swimming and was pulled from the surf unconscious.
SEARCH CONTINUED MONDAY
Late Monday, fire rescue crews were still looking for another man.
They said 34-year old-man Joshua Kimbrough from Bowling Green, Kentucky was missing and presumed drowned.
Fire officials from Fort Morgan were using two vehicles to travel the beach from Fort Morgan itself to just east of Mobile Street, looking for Kimbrough.
Leroy Cassette with the Fort Morgan Volunteer Fire Department said, "We're still patrolling up and down the beach. We have a Ranger and an ATV that is going up and down every hour or two, watching the surf to see if we can see anything. I understand Gulf Shores has also got their boat out, and they are going up and down the water side."
VISITORS SAW THE EMERGENCY
Monday, plenty of people were at the beach near South Sea Circle where rescue crews try unsuccessfully to save John Hogue from the rough surf.
Some witnessed the life saving efforts.
Brad Shockman of Cincinnati, Ohio, said, "We just saw it when they brought him up on shore. They were working on him, and then, once they put him up on the stretcher, he was gone, you could tell. It's one of those things where nature is powerful. You can't take it for granted."
Julie Mullany of Cincinnati said, "It was scary. Like he said, it makes you respect mother nature a little more. You watch the kids a little more. You keep them in a little closer to the beach."
Brittany Hill of Dresden, Tennessee said, "My family actually came down yesterday, and they were here on the beach when one of the guys was here and they were doing CPR on him."
Fire officials said the problem was riptide, and the situation Sunday could have been even worse.
Cassette said, "(There) were four incidents, and I think involving about a total of 13, 14, 15 people."
Fire officials said in all the drowning cases, they believe adults were trying to rescue children.
Cassette said, "It's hard for people not to go out and rescue, and yet it's probably not the right thing to do, because it hampers, when the pros get in, it hampers their ability to go rescue."
Rescue crews hope parents take these lessons seriously.
Hill said, "It is scary, because with babies, we like to get out in the water but, it's just too dangerous."
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