San Diego County

Lifeguards Warn of Dangerous Rip Currents

The hazardous conditions are expected to peak Thursday and Friday

After a high number of rescues in the North County Wednesday, lifeguards are warning beachgoers about treacherous rip current conditions.

A large swell from the south is bringing big waves and strong rip currents to San Diego County, especially to the north, says Oceanside Beach Lifeguard Sgt. Mason Turvey.

About 32 people were pulled to shore by lifeguards in Oceanside Wednesday, and more rescues are expected Thursday and Friday during the swell’s peak. The area most at risk is Oceanside Harbor Beach, according to Turvey.

To prevent an emergency, lifeguards are contacting people in possible rip current areas, asking them to relocate and stay closer to shore.

They have also deployed a jet ski, which reaches victims faster in big surf than their boats.

Turvey says officials saw the dangerous conditions coming about a week ago as they tracked strong storms off the west coast of Mexico.

If you are not familiar with the area, officials recommend talking with the nearest lifeguard about where it is safe to get into the water. Those men and women study the surf every day and know which dangers to look for.

According to Turvey, 2014 has proved to be a busier year in terms of rescues compared to the past two, slower years. Lifeguards especially had their hands full with big swells and a huge number of visitors during the 4th of July week.

In June, a man and a teen swimming along Moonlight Beach drowned after getting swept up by a rip current.

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