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Red Flags Or Not, Swimmers Urged To Use Caution On Alabama Beaches

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GULF SHORES, Ala. (WHNT) - The waters at beaches along Alabama's Gulf Coast reopened Tuesday after four people drowned during the past two days.

While the beaches are open, the waters are still dangerous.  Swimmers are urged to pay attention to the flags and warnings and use caution when going in the water.

The problems with strong rip currents actually started last week.  As Tropical Storm Andrea made her way across the Gulf of Mexico, it kicked up the surf along Alabama's Gulf Coast.

Last Wednesday, June 5,  six swimmers had to be rescued from strong currents.

"We were just swimming and we didn't think we were that far out until like we couldn't get our bodies back in and we couldn't touch and we were all freaking out," one girl said.

All of those swimmers made it to shore but a 17-year-old boy had to be taken to the hospital.

Related story: Realtors say the drownings aren't keeping people from visiting Alabama's beaches.

It was much more tragic Sunday and Monday, June 9 and 10 as four men drowned in the strong currents.  They were from Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Tuesday morning, the flag warning system was lowered from a double red, which means no swimming, to yellow, which still means there is a moderate risk for dangerous currents.  As of Wednesday, the flags were yellow.

Check the latest conditions on Gulf Shores' official website.  The National Weather Service also offers this detailed beach forecast for Fort Morgan, AL all the way east to Fort Walton Beach, FL.