Hundreds Rescued in High Swell

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Monica Dean
    A bare beach today but over the weekend, lifeguards were busy.

    Large surf along San Diego's coastline is creating a treacherous situation for swimmers and surfers.

    "Looks a little scary for me. I like to watch it from here," said tourist Neil Hillstrom.

    Not a bad idea according to lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum considering the swell that moved in last Friday. "What it did was increase the strength of rip currents along San Diego beaches and lifeguards made over 250 rescues," said Lerum.

    The busiest spot was Mission Beach where Lerum said lifeguards had a number of mass rescue situations. At one point, lifeguards had to pull 16 people at once to safety.

    The view from shore can be deceiving but even experienced swimmers like Brian Negrillo said at times it gets scary.

    "Sometimes I'll just stop, wait, come back to shore, take a break, get some water then go head out again," said boogie boarder Negrillo.

    Lifeguards typically make dozens of rescues during the La Jolla rough water swim -- but high surf made the event especially challenging this year. Also, the paddle around the Ocean Beach Pier was cancelled Sunday. The event scheduled as part of the 'Paddle for Clean Water' Festival was considered just too risky by organizers.

    Lifeguards say if you do go in -- swim in areas where they're watching. The threat of rip currents and powerful surf continues Monday. Conditions should calm down by Tuesday.