Sheriff: It Wasn't Rip Current That Led to Ex-NFLer's Death

'No indication' of that as cause of Ryan Mallett's apparent drowning on Florida beach, per officials
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 1, 2023 7:00 AM CDT
Former NFL Quarterback, 35, Dies in Florida Drowning
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett watches from the sideline during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., Sept. 25, 2016.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
UPDATE Jul 1, 2023 7:00 AM CDT

Officials are now saying that ex-NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett's death earlier this week in an apparent drowning off of Florida's shores wasn't caused by a rip current. Per CBS News, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office posted a video Wednesday on Facebook with an update on the water conditions. "Despite widespread media misinformation, yellow beach safety flags were flying at the time and there were no indications of any 'riptides,'" the post notes. "It's always difficult when we lose a tourist or a resident here, but ... we have no indication of any dangerous conditions out there," Sheriff Eric Aden added. A Destin Fire Control District statement says the same, noting yellow flags were up in the area where Mallett died; Aden notes in his statement that simply means "swim with caution." "It just seems to be ... a tragic accident," he says. DFCD notes there would've been red flags up for rip currents.

Jun 28, 2023 12:00 AM CDT

Ryan Mallett, a 35-year-old former NFL quarterback, died Tuesday in an apparent drowning off the Florida coast. Mallett, who was an Arkansas high school football coach at the time of his death, was caught in a rip current at a beach in Destin, Florida, along with nine to 12 other people, sources tell Arkansas' Deltaplex News. Everyone except Mallett made it to safety, but he started struggling and ultimately went under. Emergency responders pulled him out of the water unresponsive and he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, ESPN reports.

Mallett, a University of Arkansas football star who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2011, also played with the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens before his career ended in 2017, CNN reports. "The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of former quarterback Ryan Mallett," that team says in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the Mallett family, his former teammates, and all who are mourning his loss." Says the University of Arkansas, "We are shocked and saddened by the passing of Ryan Mallett. He was a Razorback legend with larger-than-life talent and a personality to match. He led our program to some of our best moments in recent memory. He will be missed by everyone who knew him." (More Florida stories.)

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