The incident happened at Henderson Beach State Park.
DESTIN — Lifeguards with Destin Beach Safety rescued eight people, including four would-be rescuers, from a rip current in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday afternoon.
According to Destin Beach Safety Chief Joe D’Agostino, a call came in at 4:15 p.m. about people in distress at the west end of Henderson Beach State Park.
Two Destin lifeguards traveled about a mile and a half from their designated zones to respond to the call, according to lifeguard officer Cory Hill. Destin lifeguards do not patrol Henderson Beach because it is state property.
When they arrived they saw the eight people struggling in a rip current. Some had life rafts that are provided at the park’s pavilions.
The lifeguards pulled all eight people to safety, Hill said. EMS treated one person at the scene and all eight declined to be taken to a hospital.
Yellow flags were flying on Destin's beaches Thursday afternoon.
D’Agostino said the rescue was a reminder not to try to be a hero if somebody is struggling in the water.
“The smartest thing anyone can do is call the fire department if a building is on fire, call the sheriff’s office if you’re being assaulted and call a lifeguard if you see someone drowning,” he said. “Being a would-be rescuer is not a good idea.”
D'Agostino said lifeguards had rescued four people from the water before 1:30 p.m. Friday when red flags were flying.