The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office is spreading the word about dangerous rip currents and water safety after several incidents in the Gulf of Mexico this week.

Kevin Rose, 45, of Huntsville, was pulled out of the water around 2:36 p.m. Friday, according to the Baldwin County Coroner’s Office. Rose was taken to the SBRMC Freestanding ED, where he was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.

There have been at least three other drownings in the Gulf of Mexico in the past week. Nolan Keith Flanagan, 54, of Oklahoma, drowned on June 17. Hugh Pham, 47, of Texas, drowned on June 20. William Strozier, 49, of Georgia, drowned on June 22.

“We have responded to several swimmers in distress, really all week,” said Baldwin County Sheriff Capt. Andre Reid. “We had at least three calls Friday and unfortunately, one of the parties did die.”

Officials have warned about dangerous rip currents in the Gulf of Mexico for weeks. Rip currents can be identified by a channel of churning, choppy water or a narrow gap of darker, calmer water between waves. Officials advise if ever caught in a rip current, don’t panic or swim against the current. Float with the current until you are free from it, then swim parallel to shore and back in.

If you see someone caught in a rip current, notify a lifeguard and call 911. Do not enter the water but throw a flotation device and keep an eye on the victim.

The flag warning system allows beachgoers to be aware of rip current hazards. A red flag represents high surf and/or strong currents. Double red flags mean the water is closed to the public, and it is illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

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