Reality Check: Fort Morgan Beach safety
FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WPMI) —
With less than 6 weeks until Memorial Day no changes have been made to help save lives on the beaches of Fort Morgan.
We're continuing to push city tourism officials in Gulf Shores and orange beach for answers.
Right now, all efforts to educate tourists and rescue beachgogers falls upon 25 Fort Morgan volunteer firefighters.
Commissioners have told us they'd like to have some kind of additional safety measures in place by Memorial Day, but there are no commitments at this time.
There were 6 drownings here last year and 3 weeks ago, Jevon Lemke was swept away while trying to save his family from a rip current.
Yet there are still no warning flags or lifeguards and signs at the one entrance on Fort Morgan road only advertise the boat ramp, and the Dauphin Island Ferry.
We reached out to officials with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, tourism they couldn't comment on camera, but say they advertise the beach warning flag system and safety information through vacation guides and other material at welcome centers and inside rentals.
Dave Johnson, Orange Beach resident and former city council member, says with more and more people coming to Fort Morgan, he's afraid there will be even more deaths.
According to a statement from Herb Malone, President and CEO quote "Gulf Shores & Orange Beach tourism supports any effort by the county and/or state to make a safer experience for visitors out on Fort Morgan."
County commissioners have said they're trying to fix the problem but there are funding and liability concerns ; including who controls the beaches a mix of private, public and state controlled land.
Our efforts to ask the state for help have gone nowhere.