Environment & Science

Rescues at Los Angeles County beaches rise due to hot temperatures, currents

Photo by Grant Palmer Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

Lifeguards made around 2,000 rescues in an 11-day period that ended Sunday at shores from Zuma Beach to San Pedro. 

The high number of rescues throughout Los Angeles County are due to a mix of warm temperatures and strong rip currents, said Kenichi Haskett, captain with the lifeguard division. There was a large surf Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The surf dropped Friday and Saturday, Haskett said. 

"People want to go into the water with the warm temperatures to cool off and you know, with a large surf and rip currents, [you] can be swept off your feet easily," Haskett said.

Zuma Beach saw over a dozen rescues, Haskett said. The beach's position is closer to the southern hemisphere where the swell originates, causing larger waves there.

Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach are other beaches that experienced a high number of rescues.

One fatality occurred Rancho Palos Verdes on Thursday. That's the same area where a teenager died last year.  

Lifeguards will be staffed based on the crowd, surf and ocean conditions, Haskett said. 

"We are urging people to definitely check in with a lifeguard before you go into the water for the current conditions in that area," he said. "We just ask people to swim within their abilities."