If you've ever been to the Florida panhandle area, you know that there is a good possibility that you'll run into someone you know. I mean, folks from Acadiana have been traveling to the Emerald Coast for decades to enjoy the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And last week there were a lot more Louisiana residents in the Destin/Miramar Beach/30A area for various reasons. Some were enjoying the last official week of summer, and some were evacuating their homes because of Hurricane Ida. And just because the hurricane didn't officially hit the Florida panhandle doesn't mean that Ida's effects weren't felt.

There's really nothing more unsettling than sitting on the beach and seeing an unusual amount of helicopters and boats scanning the area. You know something is wrong, and you're wondering if they are looking for sharks, or for people, in those crystal blue waters. This time officials were looking for bodies.

Two of our Louisiana citizens lost their lives to drowning in the Destin area last week. According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, a 14 year old teenager went missing from the Henderson State Beach area off Scenic Highway 98 in Miramar Beach on Wednesday afternoon. His body was recovered the next day about 1.5 miles down from where he went in the water, near the popular Pompano Joe's restaurant. He was spotted by beach-goers, who alerted the Coast Guard. The teen, who has not been identified, was said to have evacuated Louisiana with his family due to Hurricane Ida.

A press release from the Sheriffs Office, via MyPandhandle.com said “the young man” entered the water around 6:30 p.m. near 3500 Scenic Highway 98 in Destin. When the teen began struggling in the current, another person jumped to to help. That person also began struggling but was able to escape the water". The search party was also conducted by Destin Beach Patrol and Walton County officials.

 

And, in another sad case, an Oakdale man drowned over the weekend in nearly the same area, according to Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. The Advocate says the 58 year old was caught in a rip current off Henderson Beach State Park in Destin around 6:15 p.m on Saturday. When he could not make it back to shore he was pulled from the water and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

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