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Never Again

Orlando
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118 posts
52 reviews
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Never Again

My wife and I have lived in several places in FL for over 25 years and have visited almost every corner of the state from Key West to Destin. Since we had never been to PCB we decided to take our kids for a short 4 day vacation to visit. Of the 4 days we were there, the gulf was closed to swimming for 3 days. It was a little rough the 1st day we were there but we swam and had fun in the surf. After that it became calmer each day but swimming was prohibited. The last day we left early and the surf was probably less than 1 foot but the water was still closed. Ridiculous - airplanes with banners telling people to stay out of the water, beach patrols chasing people out, even helicopters hovering over anybody that dared to cool off waist deep. It is not a matter of keeping people safe - other areas approach this differently - in fact, on the front page of today's Orlando Sentinel was an article about rough surf and rip current at Daytona Beach, 20 people rescued over the weekend but the beaches remain open, with the appropriate warnings to the public. We will never return to this area.

Thomaston
Destination Expert
for Panama City Beach
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1,138 posts
58 reviews
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1. Re: Never Again

I'm sorry you had a bad experience. However, you can get swept out in a rip tide when you are only knee deep. PCB had a tragic drowning last week and Destin has had several. Since PCB has no lifeguards, I think everyone should be safe and pay attention to the flag system. It is disappointing when you travel so far and the water is closed , but safety first!

Atlanta, GA
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1,593 posts
34 reviews
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2. Re: Never Again

You're not returning because PCB tried to keep everyone safe? Really. I would rather swim in the hotel pool then get swept out in a rip current. I've been on the beach in PCB several years ago when they pulled a young person's body out of the water. Not something I want to ever see again. So I'll be happy with them keeping you out of the water. Especially since I'm not an expert on the reason why.

Central Illinois
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353 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Never Again

I believe human life trumps allowing swimming/wading on a beach devoid of lifeguards. Had the precautions not been in place and one of your loved one's drowned, I believe your story would be very different.

Level Contributor
97 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Never Again

I'm so glad to hear they are being so vigilant about safety. Like another poster mentioned, they don't have lifeguards. I heard the weather had rougher than normal in the gulf recently, I'm very sorry it ruined your beach time. Try pcb again, I think you'll like it under normal conditions.

Orlando
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118 posts
52 reviews
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5. Re: Never Again

I kind of figured I'd get these responses.... but please get my perspective. I'm all in favor of warnings in appropriate conditions. Also to note is the fact that I was a lifeguard for several years and have performed rescues myself in rip currents, so I have experience in many difficult conditions. I'm saying that the conditions did not merit the approach taken by PCB, even erring on the side of caution. It may have even been appropriate to close the water for maybe the worst 1/2 day and I would not have complained, but not for 3 days. And again, other beaches handle much worse conditions in a different manner. It is these other beach areas that I will go to instead of PCB, notably New Smyrna to Flagler in Central FL, Palm Beach to Jupiter/Hobe Sound in S. FL, and virtually anywhere on the west coast.

Decatur, Alabama
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1,820 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Never Again

Gee, sorry that your vacation was messed up. Mother Nature just has her way I guess.

Thankfully you and your family are safe and there are lots of other activities that could be done. We plan a trip to Pensacola to the Naval Air Museum and shopping/eating in Destin. Our vacation home will be in PCB and we leave this Saturday.

I live in Decatur and the next door town of Hartselle is mourning the loss of a young woman in PCB. While these nasty waves were going on she saved her young daughter from a drowning death. The mother nearly died and in fact died in ICU a couple of days later. Now how would you feel if you had witnessed this event? Such a sad terrible thing.

Not everyone pays attention to those red flag. They think they will be ok and don't want to mess up their vacation. So they go right out in the water. PCB wanted to get the word out, albeit overkill it appears, in your opinion. Sorry. But did you know that people were pulled in to the under tow that were only knee deep? Scary.

Hope that your next vacation goes off as planned without any storms, hitches, delays, problems, etc.

Edited: 19 June 2012, 17:59
Central Illinois
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353 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Never Again

Other beach towns also set themselves up for lawsuits. The city cannot control the currents. Just because the water looks calm, does not mean it is safe. Riptides are unseen, and as a former lifeguard you should know that.

dmdcash
Level Contributor
44 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Never Again

I was there all last week, we were told on SUNDAY ALONE, 35 people were rescued..it sucks, but safety has to be a priority.

Dallas, Texas
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175 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Never Again

I must be missing something. You don't want to go back to the area because they were too strict about closing the beach, and you wanted them to act more like Daytona where they had to pull 20 people out of the water because the beach was still open? So you think the double red flags should mean that swimming is optional? I'm sorry that you happened to be there with crappy weather, but your perspective doesn't make much sense.

Athens, Georgia
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2,782 posts
32 reviews
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10. Re: Never Again

I am sorry your trip was ruined. I get what others are saying safety is first but I can promise you I would be pretty upset too if I couldn't get in the water all week. (why go to the ocean if you can't get in it) We recently visited PCB after about 15 years of going to Myrtle Beach. I can say we enjoyed PCB but when it comes to safety I would choose Myrtle Beach. They have lifeguards posted every few hundred feet and the ocean has never been closed in all the years we have visited. I have 2 small children who love the ocean and I do put safety first...I know the gulf is prettier and more tropical but again I have to put my family's safety first.