Mass Lifeguard Rescue in Newport Beach

Newport Beach (ltenney1225 / Flickr / CC)
ltenney1225 / Flickr / CC

Strong rip currents proved too powerful for 10 T-shirt wearing beachgoers in Newport Beach waters this Memorial Day as they slipped out to sea–rescued only by a team of watchful lifeguards.

One lifeguard had noticed the group from a tower as they swam near a rip current. That lifeguard headed out to warn them before they slipped into danger, according to the Orange County Register. The dangerous rip current quickly forced the group–among whom many were wearing T-shirts–100 yards offshore. It took six lifeguards, some from a boat, to complete the mass rescue.

“Even for a skilled swimmer, it (street clothing) weighs them down and becomes more difficult,” Newport Lifeguard Battalion Chief Lt. Mike Halphide was quoted in the Register as saying. Halphide encouraged rash guards as a T-shirt alternative.

Newport lifeguards had to warn some 500 beachgoers of ocean danger Monday, reported the Register. Seal Beach lifeguards reported 10 rescues, but decreased numbers at the beach this weekend.

Reports of high shark activity, including 13 young Great Whites off the shores of Sunset Beach, did not appear to culminate in any shark attacks over the weekend.

Southern California has actually experienced significant cloud cover over the past few days, discouraging those who may have opted to visit the beach on Memorial Day weekend.

“As summer’s coming, make sure you know the conditions and check with a lifeguard,” warned Halphide in the Register report.

Hundreds of San Diegans did choose to brave the weather to participate in a Memorial Day ceremony and visit memorial gravesites at Fort Rosecrans in memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to the citizens of the United States of America.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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