After close calls at Crab Island, Destin woman eyes ‘warning system’

Savannah Vasquez

Crab Island has made the news multiple times in the short 2015 spring season. The recent drowning of Rodney Barnes and several other dangerous close-calls are enough to garner concerns about raised boater awareness of the strong currents surrounding the popular sand bar.

  “Just like there is a beach warning system, I would like to see some kind of tide or undertow warning system on Crab Island,” said Sheri Andrews, owner of S.E.A. Chase Watersports. “There needs to be a warning system in place so that people know the dangers; they don’t realize how quickly that tide can change and pull you out.”

Andrews said that the idea is a simple one, but will help raise awareness to the water conditions of Crab Island, and hopefully keep revelers out of harms way.

“There are just thousands of people out there everyday,” she said. “If we put in signs or flags similar to what’s on the beach already with a green flag, yellow flag, and red flag, the system just carries over.”

 Although the idea is still in planning phase, Andrews said she hopes to see a warning system implemented alongside the recently approved Crab Island Corridor.

“What I’m thinking immediately is that the TDC(Tourist Development Council) and the County are planning to implement the Crab Island Corridor, and while they are doing that they could put some sort of a flag system at either end of the corridor,” she said. “However they do the buoy system for the corridor, all they will have to do is attach a flag to the buoy.”

When The Log reached out to Okaloosa County Commissioner Kelly Windes, his response was that he would like to look over the proposed warning system before giving a formal comment. He did say however, that this sort of system may be discussed at an upcoming planning meeting for the Crab Island Corridor.