It's been about two weeks since school systems in Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans ended their academic years and students and faculty were dismissed for summer break. Summer break usually unfolds this way in Louisiana. Half of us go to the beach the first-week school is out. The rest of us go when that bunch gets back.

VRBO
VRBO
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For something that is supposed to be relaxing, sometimes the beach is anything but that. Some of the irritations are minor, you know sunburn and sand in intimate crevices. Other issues are actually life-threatening and require a certain level of responsibility. Rip currents are one of those issues, and if you're heading to the beaches of Alabama and Florida this weekend, here's your rip current forecast.

weather.gov/mob
weather.gov/mob
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That looks like pretty smooth sailing for those who are headed to the white sands of the Emerald Coast this weekend. But still, there is something you need to be aware of when you are in the water.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo
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What Do Beach Warning Flags Mean?

On almost every beach around the country, you'll see a sign similar to the one posted above. It's to warn bathers of dangers in the water. Most of us are aware of the red, green, and yellow flags and their meanings. The purple flags mean dangerous sea life, you know jellyfish and sharks, and other things that could leave a mark.

You might also notice an amber triangular-shaped flag on the sign above. That's what's usually posted when the water has bad bacteria levels. Unfortunately, those flags fly quite often along Louisiana's coastline, not so much in the more pristine waters of Lower Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

WKRG via YouTube
WKRG via YouTube
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What's The Danger That Could Wash Up While You're Swimming?

The most recent incident happened on Thursday in the waters around Dauphin Island. The Dauphin Island Police Department reported finding an estimated $450,000 worth of cocaine on the beach. Law enforcement officials say it wasn't the first time and unfortunately, it won't be the last time that dangerous drugs will find their way to the beaches that many of us use.

Police estimate the packages of cocaine weighed about 25 kilograms and as we mentioned had a street value of about $450,000. Why this is dangerous is two-fold. First cocaine can kill you. And since you would have no way of knowing exactly what was mixed in with the cocaine it could be especially lethal.

WKRG via YouTube
WKRG via YouTube
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Second, the folks who lost that cocaine, aka $450,000, will be looking for it. And if they find you with it they'll do what it takes to get it back from you. And no, don't think you wouldn't be seen if you scooped up a 25-kilogram parcel of illegal drugs and tried to drive off with it in your beach bag.

Detectives will be monitoring the beaches of Dauphin Island closely over the next few days as well as the surrounding beaches. So don't be surprised if you see officers in full gear patrolling in watercraft or walking among the sunbathers.

What Should You Do if You Encounter Illegal Substances Washed Up on the Beach?

Call the local police or sheriff's department would be the best advice we could offer. It's the advice law enforcement officers would give. It's best not to touch the washed-up parcels because physical contact with the wrong stuff could become lethal in minutes.

You also don't want the police to think that stuff belongs to you. You've heard the phrase, possession is 9/10ths of the law. You don't want nine out of ten lawmen thinking you're smuggling cocaine on your family vacation. So, if you see something or find something suspicious on the beach, pick up the phone and call somebody.

 

 

 

 

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