Baldwin County daily beach alert will save lives

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Visitors to Baldwin County’s beaches are here for one thing, to get into the water. We agree, Alabama’s Gulf Coast is lovely, beautiful and still surprisingly, a bit of a hidden gem. It’s also dangerous, home to vicious, frequent rip currents that have claimed the lives of at least 40 people in Baldwin County alone since 1996. Dozens more have drowned on beaches stretching from Dauphin Island to Florida’s panhandle. This leaves our first responders to do one thing: try to save them. And they do, every time, casting aside any concern for their personal safety. It also leaves our leaders in a conundrum: how do we protect our own and our visitors? Are these people who arrive with carloads of beach toys and coolers determined to have a good time regardless of any dire consequences, or do they just not understand the danger? This month the county launched the Baldwin Beach Information update. The daily texts give recipients the flag report and list any hazards or rip current issues happening that day along the coast. Now, visitors don’t have to look for a flag flapping in the breeze. Those enjoying a day down at Fort Morgan don’t have to look out at the seemingly calm waves and wonder if a rip tide lurks below. They know, with one text. Knowledge is power, and Baldwin County has just given our visitors and residents alike the power to understand the potential dangers they face with a simple text. They’ve given them the power to say, today, we’ll head into town, and maybe tomorrow we can swim. They have given people the power to potentially save their own lives. Sign up for the beach report, either by texting the word albeaches to 888-777 or by signing up for all of Baldwin County’s informative texts at www.alertbaldwin.com It just might save your life.