San Diego

Missing La Jolla Cove Swimmer Was Sea Lion: Lifeguards

A sea lion's bark sounded a lot like a man's cries for help, apparently.

That's what San Diego lifeguards determined was the sound heard by someone who called 911 Saturday night.

The call came in around 10:45 p.m. after a caller heard what was thought to be a man's calls for help from La Jolla Cove.

Lifeguards rushed to the scene where they also said they heard what sounded like a man's distress cries.

Lifeguards performed several searches, complete with helicopters, and found no one, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Monica Munoz said.

"They also heard the cries of sea lions and determined that was probably what the reporting party heard," she said.

This was not the first time someone had mistaken a sea lion or seal's bark for a distress call.

The California sea lion population has tripled in the last 40 year, according to a study published in January. 

La Jolla Cove is a favorite haunt of the sea lions and seals in San Diego.

Contact Us