Prude Death Investigation

2 tourists drown in the Gulf off Panama City Beach


PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla.– It started as single red flags Sunday morning, but was quickly upgraded to double red as first responders performed a number of water rescues throughout the day. 

Panama City Beach police and Beach fire rescue arrived at the beach near Crane street and Front beach road in response to a distressed swimmer. 

The swimmer was pulled from the water shortly after 2 o’clock. 

First responders and bystanders performed CPR at the scene before transporting the patient to a nearby hospital. 

The man pulled from the water has been identified as 59-year-old Jeffrey Simms of West Virginia. 

Despite life-saving measures, Simms passed away. Single red flags were flying at the time. 

Another drowning death happening shortly after, this one behind the Long Beach resort. 

Witnesses said 41-year-old Jesse Spaulding of West Virginia, was swimming when he was caught in a rip current. 

Spaulding was pulled to shore by bystanders as they began CPR. 

He was transported to a hospital where he later died. 

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