More Than 350 Rescues Made in Huntington Beach in a Week Due to Rip Currents

More Than 350 Rescues Made in Huntington Beach in a Week Due to Rip Currents

Dog lovers and corgis crowded the sands to celebrate the 11th annual Corgi Beach Day in Huntington Beach, Calif., on April 1, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

7/13/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

An increase in rip currents and dangerous shore breaks has led to an increase in rescues at Huntington Beach, with more than 350 last week, according to a July 11 Instagram post by Huntington Beach lifeguards.
In the post, lifeguards said they also had to take 10,250 preventative actions, like informing beachgoers of the ocean’s current conditions.
Southern California beaches are seeing more visitors as temperatures start to rise for the first time after a record-breaking offseason full of rain and clouds.
According to Trevor McDonald, the marine safety division battalion chief for the Huntington Beach Fire Department, a lifeguard rescue is anytime someone needs to be helped back to the shore, and most of the time it’s due to rip currents.
He told The Epoch Times that rip currents are a “body of water that’s moving out to sea,” and are the most dangerous for swimmers.
He also said for anyone that finds themself being pulled out, to “flip n float,” or turn on one’s backside, and then swim parallel to shore out of the current, then swim back to shore.
According to the United States Lifesaving Association—a nonprofit of lifeguards nationwide that works to set safety standards—rip currents form typically at breaks near sandbars or structures like jetties or piers, which most Southern California beaches have.
They can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore, and speeds can shift at any moment, sometimes quickly increasing to become dangerous, according to the association.
Data from Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences—an international scientific journal that examines threats from natural hazards—shows that there are over 100 deaths each year in the United States because of rip currents, and 80 percent of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards are because of the phenomena.
Mr. McDonald said he recommends everyone visiting the beach to check in on current conditions before heading out or with lifeguards once they arrive.
Correction: A previous version of this article didn’t clarify that the danger was caused by water currents. The Epoch Times regrets the error.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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