Beach Rescues Double as Temps Scorch SoCal

Lifeguards reported rescuing over 2,000 people in LA County beaches and responding to over 3,000 medically related calls since January 1

By Irene Moore
|  Thursday, May 15, 2014  |  Updated 5:59 PM PDT
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Southern California Beaches

Clinton Steeds via Flickr

Officials reported an unseasonably high number of ocean rescues and beach attendance as a May heat wave continues to hit Southern California.

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Ocean rescues in LA County have more than doubled this year since the amount recorded from Jan. 1 to May 12 in 2013, officials said.

As of Monday, lifeguards reported rescuing over 2,000 people in LA County beaches and responding to over 3,000 medically related calls.

Beaches were busier than usual with unseasonably scorching temps during a May heat wave.

Beach attendance over the same period increased by a little more than 2 million. LA County Fire officials estimated 14.2 million people already hit the sand this year.

In a statement released by the LA County Fire Department, Chief Lifeguard Steve Moseley attributed the higher number of rescues to three things:

  • The lack of rain
  • Frequency of larger than normal winter swells, creating beach erosion and in-shore holes
  • Warm ocean temperatures

These made the first four and a half months of 2014 an extremely busy season for lifeguards, he said.

 Officials advised beach goers to always practice these safety rules when visiting the warm sands:

  • Swim and surf in front of an open lifeguard tower.
  • Learn to swim at a pool before swimming in the ocean.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Ask a lifeguard where the safest areas in the ocean are to swim.

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