A 50 year old Texas man drowned in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday while attempting to rescue his children, who were struggling in the water off Scenic Highway 98 in Destin around 3 p.m.
Alejandro Velazquez of Little Elm was pulled to shore by Destin Beach Safety lifeguards, but later died at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast.
Lifeguards were able to rescue Velazquez’s 13 year old daughter and 11 year old son, along with a 19 year old.
The daughter says the group was swimming together but began to struggle. Her father came to their aid but they became separated in the waves. A lifeguard was able to use a rescue buoy to get the youngsters ashore safely. However another lifeguard found Velazquez face down and unconscious. He was pulled to shore where lifesaving measures were attempted.
It was the second drowning on Okaloosa County beaches in the past five days. A 19 –year old Mississippi teen drowned August 1st while swimming in the Gulf off Okaloosa Island.
Beach visitors are urged to always adhere to the beach flag system directives and know what to do if caught in a riptide.