4 airlifted to hospitals after 8 rescued at Florida Panhandle beach

Rescues happened at Johnson Beach in Perdido Key

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PENSACOLA, Fla. – Eight people were rescued Thursday at a Florida Panhandle beach as weather forecasters predicted a high chance for rip currents in the area, officials said.

Escambia County Fire Rescue responded to Johnson Beach in Perdido Key twice, the Pensacola News Journal reported. The area is on the Gulf of Mexico just southwest of Pensacola.

Rescue workers pulled three adults and four children from the water shortly before 2 p.m., officials said. Two children and one adult were taken by LifeFlight to a nearby hospital, and another child was taken by ambulance. Their conditions weren't immediately known.

About two hours later, rescue workers responded to another call about a person in distress in the water. Officials said that person was helped out of the water by another beachgoer and then taken by LifeFlight to an area hospital.

It wasn’t immediately known whether rip currents were to blame for either of the incidents, but the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, had declared a high chance for rip currents along the Escambia and neighboring Santa Rosa coastline.