Marine Safety Day - Saving Lives through Education
Beach, Calif.--Even during Huntington Beach's
Marine Safety Open House Weekend,
the rescues continue as seen in photos.
Huntington Beach, Calif.―It's
just another day in paradise at Huntington Beach and all the California
beaches. But on any given day, there's likely to be a
beach rescue such as the one we
captured on video. Swimmers, body boarders and even fishermen
can get swept into dangerous
currents that they cannot escape. National Beach Safety Week is but one
of many efforts to help the public be safe and have fun in the nation's
waterways, parks, lakes and oceans.
This directive (of beach safety)
is the impetus for marine safety divisions of many of the state of
California's beach operations to hold public safety days and open house
invitations to the public. Seeking to educate water-goers about not just
the dangers, but how to avoid or escape them, thousands of lives have
been saved through this effort. As part of National Beach Safety Week,
held usually in May before the launch of the Memorial Weekend summer
beach season, lifeguard and marine safety stations and headquarters hold
open house to let public know that they can find information, assistance
and the tools to cope with the dangers of the aquatic conditions in
oceans, lakes, rivers and even swimming pools.
On a recent Huntington Beach open
house weekend, the ocean showed the dark, murky colors of a red tide,
and beneath those waters and within the waves were the signs of rip
currents near the Huntington Beach Pier. When the water is blue or
green, the rip currents are easier to spot, seen as brown, choppy water.
But when the water itself is brown, the rip currents are harder to
Two young body boarders did most
everything right. They went out into the water together and they wore
their wetsuits. But the water quickly pulled them away from shore and
like so many not trained to cope, they got caught in the riptide
currents that grab your body mass and pull you out to sea.
As several lifeguards taught
inquisitive guests about riptides nearby in the
Moorhouse Lifeguard Headquarters,
a lifeguard entered the water near the Huntington Beach Pier to help
the young swimmers who began showing signs of panic. The rescue ended
successfully as a lifeguard towed two boarders from his buoy and rope
tether. He swam against a strong current and with a few minutes, had the
boys safely back to shore.
California lifeguards rank among
the best in the U.S. Difficult conditions, millions of swimmers and
tourists with no previous exposure to the ocean currents all create a
situation requiring up to hundreds of rescues on a busy summer weekend.
While things happen unexpectedly and each of us can panic as we
encounter situations we simply aren't skilled enough to cope with, there
are some basics to help you.
The basics are simple: Never go
into the water alone. Use a buddy system. Beyond that, check for current
water conditions, swim near "manned" lifeguard stations and have the
skills appropriate to your water entry.
Rip currents: A rip current
normally can be seen as choppy, brown water offshore. It can be felt as
a strong tug away from the shore, rather than toward it as you would
expect when riding a wave. To escape a riptide, don't struggle to
swim within in it. Aim yourself and body at an angle usually
perpendicular to shore, and you'll usually find your escape route in a
side current that allows escape from this challenging condition.
Sleeper waves: Any place, but
especially northern California, is subject to sleeper waves that
suddenly appear and hit shore with great strength. As a result,
people have drowned, not seeing them come. It is advised that
never turn your back to the ocean as you stand next to it on shore.
Huntington Beach Marine Safety
Division: Location: 103 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA
Tower Zero (0)
Rip Current Rescue