Fifth Tourist In Four Days Dies At Same Florida Beach
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Fifth Tourist In Four Days Dies At Same Florida Beach

Five tourists in four days have died at the same Florida beach making for a sad bit of coincidence. A 60-year-old Missouri native drowned due to riptides in Panama City Beach on Sunday.

Her death comes just two days after three men drowned at the same beach on Friday. Meanwhile, a teen also died at the beach on Thursday. Debbie Szymanski went to the beach with her family for a vacation. She went out for a swim, but her family realized that she was no longer responding to her calls.

They found her floating in the water. Her family managed to bring her to shore where emergency responders took her to a local hospital. They announced she had passed. On Friday, three friends from Alabama died just minutes after arriving to their Panama City Beach Airbnb. They were on a trip with a group of six.

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Harold Denzel Hunter, 25, Jemonda Ray, 24, and Marius Richardson, 24, wanted to check out the beach and take a quick dip in the water. However, they also to caught in the rip current and drowned.

"The acts of courage by first responders were amazing," Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said in a statement. "Many of our rescue swimmers with the Sheriff's Office, Bay County Emergency Services, and Panama City Beach went into the dark and dangerous waters for over two hours to attempt to rescue and search for the young men.

Tourists Drown At Beach

"I worry about the emotional toll that these situations take on first responders as I know I'm struggling with it as well," he added.

The recent deaths had hit the community hard. All three of the men were fathers to young children. "I have such a heavy heart this morning about the loss of three young visitors to our community," Ford said the following day. "I'm praying for their family and ask that you do the same. It is such a tragedy."

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Ryker Milton died on Thursday after going for a swim on Thursday evening. He also got caught in a rip current and drowned. 

"Today, we lost one of the most special kids to come through our program. It's so hard to describe this young man in words that will do his life justice," Hilldale Soccer said in a Facebook post. "From all of the coaches, players, parents, and more, we love you Ryker. It was an honor to coach you, play with you, and cheer you on. You changed all of our lives. We will miss you so much."

The sheriff's office has warned about red flags.

"PLEASE STAY OUT OF THE WATER," Ford posted on Facebook Sunday after Szymanski was brought ashore. "The water can appear calm but underneath currents are treacherous today. It's just too dangerous right now to swim."