Former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett died Tuesday after drowning on a beach in Destin, Florida.
While an investigation is still underway, officials said there were «no rip currents» present when Mallett drowned.
«The condition of the flag was yellow. A yellow flag indicates medium danger, moderate waves and/or currents.» Destin Beach Safety saying. «There were no rip currents present in the area in which we responded to Ryan Mallett.»
Mallett began to struggle while trying to swim to a second shoal about 150 feet offshore, according to researchers from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
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A 911 caller said Mallett was one of six people «struggling to get back to shore,» Destin Beach Safety said.
«Destin Beach Safety quickly arrived on the scene, where they were informed that one of the swimmers had submerged and was unable to resurface,» they said.
«Two lifeguards quickly entered the water to assist swimmers and recover the submerged individual. An additional lifeguard entered to help locate and rescue the submerged swimmer.
«Once the patient was brought to shore, lifeguards along with the help of Destin Fire paramedics immediately began taking life-saving measures.»
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From June 14 to 25, the flags were either «Single Red» or «Double Red» due to life-threatening currents: it is illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico with a Double Red flag.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford has warned beach-goers to be careful after the recent spike in drowning deaths, which he says puts lifeguards at risk.
“I am beyond frustrated with the situation we have with tragic and unnecessary deaths in the Gulf,” Ford wrote on Facebook on Sunday. «I’ve seen officers, firefighters and first responders risk their lives to save strangers. I’ve seen strangers die trying to save their children and loved ones, including two fathers on (Father’s Day).»
A police report from earlier this week revealed that seven people have died in nearby Panama City Beach this year, with all of the deaths occurring in June. The death toll is the highest of any US beach for 2023, according to data tracked by the National Weather Service.
Destin Beach Safety said there were no drownings in Destin between June 14 and June 25, but 48 people were rescued. It was noted that the beach also received more than 200,000 visitors during the same time period.
Mallett was a legend for the Arkansas Razorbacks during his time there in 2009 and 2010. He began his college career at Michigan but transferred to Fayetteville and became a star.
He passed for 3,624 yards with 30 touchdowns for seven interceptions in 2009 and followed up with 3,869 yards with 32 touchdowns for 12 interceptions in 2010.
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Selected in the third round of the draft by the New England Patriots in 2011, Mallett racked up just eight starts during his 21 NFL appearances.
In February 2022, Mallett took over as the head football coach at White Hall High School in Arkansas.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.