County Sheriff's Deputies have identified the second drowning victim
who was was located floating in gulf waters off Scenic Gulf Drive near
the Whale's Tail
in Miramar Beach. Deputies and South Walton County Fire personnel
pulled the male swimmer from the water around 4:45 pm yesterday.
was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital where he was pronounced
deceased by the medical staff. Law enforcement and fire officials
searched the area, interviewed witnesses, and conducted a business
canvas through the evening and could turn up no clues as to the
identity of the victim.
At approximately 9:18 pm last night, the
Sheriff's Office received a call from the victim's wife who reported he
had gone for a swim in the gulf. She remained at her condo, ate supper,
and then fell asleep. When she awoke and noticed her husband had not
returned, she notified the authorities.
Mrs. June Barrett accompanied deputies to the hospital and made positive identification of her husband as the drowning victim.
The victim has been identified as:
Fredrick Paul Barrett, DOB: 5/24/49, of 15 Wedgewood Court, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The victim's wife advised deputies that her husband was in good health and exercised regularly; however may have been tired from a bike ride earlier in the afternoon.
the swimming season begins, the Walton County Sheriff's Office
recommends that beachgoers always swim with others, observe the flag
warning system, and try to swim in areas where life guards are on duty
to assist if a problem occurs.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) today responded to a report of two swimmers in distress in gulf waters just off Camp Creek in Seacrest Beach. Deputies arrived at the scene around 1:40pm to find the female made it back to the beach and a male victim was being pulled from the water by lifeguards employed by the South Walton Fire District. The lifeguards were were unable to resuscitate the victim.
South Walton County EMS arrived and pronounced the swimmer deceased on the scene. He is identified as Richard Strobl, DOB: 9-12-52, of Gulford, Illinois. Next of kin has been notified by law enforcement. Preliminary investigation has determined that the victim was swimming on the beach with his wife, Laura when they became caught in strong under currents. The mother made her way to the beach; however the victim was not seen again until he was pulled from the water by the lifeguards.
Major Graham Fountain, Director of Law Enforcement Operations for the WCSO spoke with Mrs. Strobl just moments ago. “She was doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances, and wished to thank the life guards, fire/EMS personnel, and beach patrol deputies who all have been so kind and helpful to her and her daughter during this ordeal,” Fountain said.
Any inquiries concerning the rescue of the victim or EMS protocol at the scene should be directed to Deputy Chief Sean Hughes, South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298.
“Our hearts go out to Strobl family as they deal with the loss of a husband and father. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers and will stand ready to provide any assistance possible,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson.
The Medical Examiner’s Office was notified and the investigation continues.