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What purple flags over the beach mean
If you see a purple flag on the beach, it means dangerous marine life could be near near.
And over the last few days Pensacola Beach has seen its fair share marine life.
Viewer, Kate Mast, shot this photo from the Pensacola Beach pier of a hammerhead shark getting close to swimmers.
Lots of you have been commenting on this picture on our Facebook page.
Jelly fish, sharks, dolphins and manta rays to name a few are often seen out at the beach.
We hear about the beach flag system, red, yellow and green, all the time, mostly for the surf conditions.
But as Channel Three's Kavontae Smalls explains, this flag system is there for a reason.
Marine life of all kinds from small crabs to jellyfish and sharks are often lurking beneath the waves, after all the Gulf is their home. Luckily we have purple flags to tell us when they get too close.
Brandy Ham and her family are visiting Pensacola Beach from Arkansas. She makes sure everyone is safe while in the water, and pays close attention to the warning flag system, including the purple flag which warns against dangerous marine life.
"The marine I read on the safety thing, the marine animals beware" said Brandy Ham, beachgoer.
Not all beachgoers are as up to speed on the flag system.
"We had no idea what the yellow flag was and the purple flag but its good they put them out to warn people" said Brittany Armstrong, visiting from Montgomery, AL.
Alex Johnson is a senior life guard at Pensacola Beach. If the purple flag needs to go up, he'll be one of the first to know.
"They're always out there, in the lifeguard stands I see them swim by people all the time honestly, I see them almost every day out there" said Alex Johnson, senior life guard.
Youtube video fishermen shot on the Pensacola Beach Pier shows a group of sharks swimming around. Another video shows what appears to be a hammerhead shark spotted near some surfers.
In most cases, purple flags go up on Pensacola Beach when there are a lot of jellyfish.
"When jellyfish start rolling in onto the shore and start stinging everybody, we want to have some way to let people know, yeah there's a lot of jellyfish in the water but we don't put them up for sharks because there's always sharks in the ocean" said Johnson.
Over the weekend lifeguards rescued a man injured by something in the water, they still don't know what got a hold of his foot that left it bloodied. The man has since been treated and received several stitches.
"The ocean is inherently a dangerous place, it's not meant for humans, there's another world there" said Johnson.
"You're coming into their territory, this isn't ours, this is their home" said Ham.
Remember to always check the flag conditions and swim near the life guards.