Lifeguards on Alert as Strong Rip Currents, Scorching Heat Hit Southland

Strong rip currents and large crowds will have lifeguards on alert this weekend as Southern California braces for another round of scorching heat.

A southwest swell will produce waves between 3- to 6 feet at beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, according to the National Weather Service.

Every lifeguard available to work will be working this weekend, keeping an eye on what could be very dangerous waves as crowds are expected to flock to the beaches as temperatures could reach the mid 90s and low 100s in the Southland over the weekend.

"At least one person has broken a surfboard," said lifeguard specialist Charlie Piccaro Friday afternoon at a South Bay beach.

Lifeguards are warning beachgoers trying to escape the heat to know their limits in the water.

"The water is really rough. I know we can't make it out that far. It's pretty scary," said Ashley Boyle, who was swimming Friday afternoon.

Even more experienced swimmers said the water was rough.

"If you don't have any fins, you're pretty much useless," said surfer Nathan Nguyen, who decided to call it quits after getting knocked around by waves.

"The're pretty strong," he said. "Sometimes they die down a little bit and then a big one just comes out of nowhere."

The peak season for lifeguards is turning into a peak year, with the number of boat and ocean rescues in LA County already soaring past the 20 year average during the first 9 months of 2014.

"This year it's as though summer started four, five months early and has yet to end," said LA Fire Section Chief Erik Albertson.

The beach conditions were expected to last through late Sunday.

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