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Jun 10, 2013 11:20 AM by AP

2 men drown on Ala coast; searching for 3rd person

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) - Two men drowned in dangerous rip currents on the Alabama coast, and crews searched Monday for a third person who hadn't been seen since going under, authorities said.

The two deaths and the disappearance occurred within a few miles of each other on Sunday.

Baldwin County Coroner Stanley Vinson said Matthew Hattaway, 25, of Bossier, La., was pronounced dead about 3 p.m. Sunday. A relative spotted him floating in the surf.

John Hogue, 51, of Overland Park, Kan., died on the beach a few hours later, said Vinson. He had been swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and was pulled from the surf unconscious.

Vinson said a third person disappeared in the water around the same time. Fire and rescue crews were making checks on the beach for the person, said the coroner.

Authorities said all three people were swimming on Fort Morgan Peninsula near Gulf Shores when they got into trouble.

"The waves didn't appear all that large, but the rip currents were really bad," said Grant Brown, a spokesman for the city of Gulf Shores, near where the incidents occurred.

Vinson said vacationers sometime fail to recognize the danger of rip currents, which can pull swimmers underwater and out to sea even when the water appears relatively calm on the surface.

"You don't see many locals out there swimming when it's like that," he said.


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