Realtor: Gulf Beaches Still Popular Despite Drownings

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GULF SHORES/FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WHNT) - There have been at least five drownings in the last few days in the Gulf of Mexico.  However, realtors who rent properties along the Gulf say the drownings haven't led to people canceling their reservations.

They say they try to give all their guests warnings about the dangers of rip currents.

When it comes to rough waters along the Gulf Coast, common sense is usually the best guide on deciding whether or not to head out for a swim.

"We have a vacation handbook that we include in our check-in package for all of our guests," said Missy Zak with Meyer Realty.

Meyer Realty handles several properties along the coast, including the Beach Club in Fort Morgan.  A man drowned there Monday afternoon.

Zak says the handbook has information about the beach's warning flag system.   When it's red or double red, she says it's best to stay away from the water.

The package also has information on what to do if you get caught in a rip current.

"You have to know to not fight against the current with your energy, but to swim parallel until you can get out of the current," said Zak.

Zak said the recent drownings are saddening, especially since the beach is a place that should be fun.

"We hate that people come here for family vacations and to create memories and have such tragic loss," said Zak.  "It's heartbreaking."

Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Baldwin County are all in charge of the flag warning system along the Alabama Gulf Coast.