Alabama beaches reopen to swimmers after deadly rip current - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Alabama beaches reopen to swimmers after deadly rip current

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Many of the swimmers we talked to in Gulf Shores Tuesday admitted they're still concerned about the rough water conditions in Alabama after four people drowned in just a two day span. Many of the swimmers we talked to in Gulf Shores Tuesday admitted they're still concerned about the rough water conditions in Alabama after four people drowned in just a two day span.
GULF SHORES, AL (WLOX) -

Gulf Shores beaches reopened Tuesday under restricted conditions. This after the beaches were closed when four men drowned in dangerous rip currents since the weekend. Gulf Shores officials are warning everyone to be cautious of hidden dangers.

The beaches in Gulf Shores were full of swimmers in the water soaking up some summer fun. Grady Holder traveled from Long Beach with his family.

"I was really happy to find out the beaches were open. We love the water and we like to spend as much time as we can here," said Holder. 

But many of the swimmers admit they are still concerned about the rough water conditions in Alabama after four people drowned in just a two day span.  

"We came out here yesterday and there were two red flags that were flying, which that means to stay out of the water because it was unsafe," Iowa tourist Valerie Shepherd said. 

"I am already scared of things in beach water, so to hear that people die and stuff, that is really terrifying," tourist Faith Cartwright said. 

When the double red flags came down, a yellow warning flag took their place; it's a warning that swimmers should use caution.  

"There is a chance for rip currents, but the types of currents that are out there are of relatively low risk. When you go to the Gulf and you don't see strong, high waves, there is still a threat of rip currents," Gulf Shores Public Information Officer Grant Brown said.   

Beachgoers agree safety is a must because anything can happen in these waters. 

"We just watch the flags to make sure they are not double red flags, and we watch the current of the water. One of the main reasons we stay here in front of the lifeguard station, they can let you know when it is safe or not safe," Holder said. 

"I didn't want to come today, but my teenage daughters talked me into it. We don't get to go to beach very often," said a Gulf Shores tourist. "If they are in water, they are in life jackets and knee high is my rule." 

And that's good advice that could help keep you safe while enjoying the beaches. 

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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    Monday, June 10 2013 10:50 PM EDT2013-06-11 02:50:55 GMT
    Following Monday's decision by the city of Gulf Shores to close its public beaches in the wake of four drownings in less than a day, we wanted to know more about rip currents and how to survive if a swimmerMore >>
    Following Monday's decision by the city of Gulf Shores to close its public beaches in the wake of four drownings in less than a day, we wanted to know more about rip currents and how to survive if a swimmerMore >>
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