GULF SHORES — The Baldwin County Coroner’s Office identified a man who drowned in the Gulf of Mexico while reportedly trying to save a child.
William Strozier, 49, of Madison, Ga., was pulled from the water near West Beach Boulevard around 6:20 p.m. on June 22. He was taken to the SBRMC Freestanding ED where he was pronounced dead.
The Gulf Shores Police Department is investigating.
The department has also been searching for an Oklahoma man who disappeared while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico nearly a week ago. 54-year-old Nolan Keith Flanagan was reported missing on June 17 from an area near East Beach Boulevard.
Just days later, a Texas man drowned in Orange Beach. Hugh Pham, 47, died on June 20.
Officials have been warning about dangerous rip currents in the Gulf of Mexico for weeks.
Gulf Shores Fire Rescue says nearly 80% of all rescues are due to rip currents. 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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