Ryan Mallett’s tragic death at 35 was not caused by riptides, Destin beach officials say – as bodycam footage of ‘medium hazard’ conditions at the time of the drowning incident is released
Ryan Mallett’s drowning death did not come in hazardous sea conditions, officials have said.
The former NFL quarterback’s death, which came as he was vacationing in Destin, Florida, was confirmed on Tuesday night. He was just 35 years old.
And while the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said there had been ‘widespread media misinformation’ about the conditions in the water at the time of Mallett’s death, he did not die in a riptide.
Destin Beach Safety said in a statement that there were no riptides present in the around where Mallett was found, and said the water flag condition was yellow.
A yellow flag ‘indicates medium hazard, moderate surf and/or currents,’ the statement said.
Former football player Ryan Mallett has passed away at the age of 35 in a drowning accident
Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Alden added, ‘It just seems to be a tragic accident and not something to do with the conditions of the surf or tides or currents.’
According to Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigators, Mallett ‘began struggling while attempting to swim to a second sandbar about 150 feet offshore of the beach.’
The Sheriff’s Office also released bodycam footage of police officers responding to the incident on Tuesday.
One deputy can be heard saying to another, ‘I think they’ve got him on the board now,’ before the footage cuts to an ambulance.
Mallett was on vacation with his girlfriend Madison Carter, KNWA reported.
The former Arkansas Razorbacks star went on to play for the Patriots, Texans and Ravens in the NFL.
His time in New England included backing up seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady for two seasons.
‘We lost a great man. Thank you for you everything Ryan,’ Brady wrote Tuesday night.
‘Praying for the Mallett family and all their loved ones tonight.’