On Monday, the Destin City Council unanimously voted to establish a beach flag warning system consistent with the system currently in place for unincorporated Okaloosa County.
At the January 3rd meeting, Councilmember Teresa Hebert moved to direct the City Manager to bring back the city’s beach ordinance for the double red flags in February with the goal of aligning the city’s and county’s beach safety regulations for consistent messaging and enforcement.
- Previously, the City of Destin had trouble enforcing the closing of the water to the public during double red flags.
Under the updated ordinance, all beaches within the City, and access points to beaches leading to the Gulf of Mexico within the City, will display a sign informing the public of the beach flag warning system.
- Beach vendors, contractors and other governmental entities are being encouraged to post the beach flag warning system sign in a prominent place at their business.
Beach lifeguards will post the appropriate flags depicting current conditions at each designated beach from the second Saturday in March through the second weekend in October.
- Warning flags will be raised when lifeguards are on duty and actively guarding and will be lowered when lifeguards leave the beach daily.
Enforcement of Beach Flag Warning System
The City Manager, City Manager’s designee, or the Okaloosa County Sheriff will have the authority to declare that a state of emergency exists and order the posting of double red flags prohibiting entry into the water.
- This will apply to all City beaches and beach access ways.
Failure to comply with directions of lifeguards or law enforcement officers will be in violation, with a maximum $500 fine.
Those surfing with a leash attached are exempt.