Summer summary: Seal Beach Lifeguards rescue 248 people

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Marine Safety deploys water-craft and lifeguards to tackle issues as far out as 3 miles from shore, and when they’re the first and only responders, as far out as 8-10 miles. Photo by Charles M. Kelly

Also, 450 victims of stingrays and two near-drownings, Marine Safety reports

It was no endless summer in Seal Beach, but it sure was odd. Beach shutdowns because of COVID-19 concerns, for one.

“The strangest thing for us was when the beach was closed,” said Joe Bailey, chief of the Seal Beach Marine Safety & Lifeguards Department. “Lifeguard and lifeguard trucks always try to face the water. While the beach was closed, we were facing the opposite direction.”

Masks and social distancing were another curveball.

“Our lifeguards continue to wear face masks on the tower and dealing with the public,” Bailey said. “But it is impossible to socially distance while make a rescue or performing medical aids, and our guards have done an excellent job using PPE to protect themselves and the public.”

When beaches reopened, lifeguards performed heroically, making 248 rescues from June 15 to Sept. 15. They also made 105 boat rescues. Marine Safety deploys water-craft and lifeguards to tackle issues as far out as 3 miles from shore, and when they’re the first and only responders, as far out as 8-10 miles.

Marine Safety reports that medical aid was administered 644 times in the same time frame. That includes 25 incidents in which paramedics were called, and 450 stingray victims.

“The stingray victim stats are higher than normal and that has to do with a lower surf summer and the higher-than-normal crowds,” Bailey said. “Overall, the beach has been crowded this summer and it continues to be crowded on weekends.”

Following are more numbers from June 15 to Sept. 15, provided by Marine Safety:

?On 335 occasions, Marine Safety took preventive actions;

?Beachgoers were given 5,027 warnings about violating city laws;

?Marine Safety enforced rules and laws 2,751 times; Seal Beach police made two arrests and handed out 16 citations;

?There were two near-drownings, one near the pier and the other in an unguarded area of the San Gabriel River.

Lifeguards were kept busy during the first weekend of October, as well, as waves cranked to 4-5 feet.

“It was like a full-on summer weekend,” Bailey said of the Oct. 3-4 cowabunga.

Surf eased on Monday and Tuesday.

The surf forecast for today (Oct. 8) About 1-2 foot waves at the pier, 1-2 feet at Bolsa Chica and flat at Surfside, according to deepswell.com. Temperature is predicted as 63 low, 75 high. On Friday (Oct. 9), waves are forecast at 1-2 feet at the pier, 1-2 feet at Bolsa Chica and flat at Surfside. Temperature is predicted to be 63 low, 72 high.

On both days, south to southeast winds will reach 3 mph in the mornings, and blow west to southwest at 9-10 mph in the afternoons and evenings. This is typical for Seal Beach, which often gets “blown out” or “choppy,” as surfers call it, in the afternoons following glassy mornings. A surf report is posted daily at the foot of the Seal Beach Pier, west side.