So someone drowned this weekend at Panama City Beach barely a half mile from where we spent our day.
I make mention of this not only because of the obvious tragedy, but also because I remember thinking to myself how dangerous the water conditions were when I first got there.
And just to confirm my own suspicions, the flags prominently posted at each beach entry point clearly indicated "double caution".......i.e. SWIMMING GENERALLY PROHIBITED. There were two flags on the same pole, a red flag with a swimmer crossed out, and an orange flag. It doesn't take a Harvard degree to realize that those flags mean no swimming. Recreation authorities even went as far as to fly a plane up and down the coastline dragging a "Stay Out Of The Water!!!" sign behind it.
And even if you felt like the warnings weren't serious enough to warrant attention, one step into the gulf should have been convincing enough. The rip currents were horrendous and there was a serious undertow. I consider myself a competent swimmer and even I found myself in trouble at times, and in positions that caused my heart to skip a few beats.
I clearly had to keep more than just an eye on this "Mr. Thinks He's A Fish" son of mine.
So yeah, I'm not surprised at all that somebody drowned; it was a sobering end to an otherwise fantastic weekend. I'm sorry it happened, but I'm glad it didn't happen to any of mine. We as adults all saw the warnings, we all made conscious decisions to ignore those warnings and in the end someone paid for it.
May he rest in peace.