Police say 55-year-old Kim McGrady of Dunwoody drowned after saving three people from a riptide in Miramar Beach, Florida.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said there were multiple water rescues and more than a dozen people pulled from riptides April 8. Authorities say conditions were already so dangerous that two red flags were raised and the beach closed to visitors. A single red flag indicates the water as an incredible threat to human life with high surf and strong rip currents.
“Know that just because we cannot keep you out of the Gulf during single red, does not mean you should be in it,” Walton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Mother nature can be very unforgiving.”
According to McGrady’s memorial page, McGrady was on a beach trip with his family when he heard people shouting from the water. McGrady was among the first to rush in and try to save as many people as he could.
In addition to McGrady, 21-year-old Layne Gravois of Gray, Louisiana, also died in the currents.
“We know there are families still grieving,” the statement read, “but, we’re begging visitors to please continue to educate themselves regarding the flag system. We will continue to do our part.”
McGrady’s memorial service is planned for April 14 at 9500 Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“Kim was always one to put others before himself,” his memorial reads. “Kim McGrady left this world a hero. He always put his family first and wanted to be the best man he could for them. Even after his death he is helping others by donating his organs.”