RANCHO PALOS VERDES (CBSLA.com) — Four people were rescued Tuesday from the choppy waters rising over a jetty in Rancho Palos Verdes – an area which has seen nearly 50 rescues in the last three days.
Los Angeles County lifeguards could be seen from SKY9 swimming the group out to a boat Tuesday afternoon after they were unable to return to a safe path as the tide came in at Abalone Cove near Inspiration Point.
No injuries were reported.
But fire officials are warning visitors to the area a massive south swell has made the surf by the caves treacherous and unpredictable.
KCAL9’s Serene Branson reports lifeguards have had to make 49 rescues in the area in the last three days, despite orders by lifeguards to avoid it. They say nine people found other ways to access the water.
“Today, we had four stranded people at this point here and five the next one down,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Jeff Horn said, adding: “We made the determination based on the high tides and the large waves to shut down access to Portuguese Point. That being said, people still manage to find ways to get around and go the other way.”
On Sunday, a GoPro video captured bystanders who sprang into action to rescue a 19-year-old man who jumped in.
On Monday, lifeguards at Abalone Beach decided it was enough.
In fact, lifeguard Ed Butts says he told hundreds of people, including those who had to be rescued Tuesday, to avoid the caves and tide pools.
“I talked to all the kids down here and said it was closed,” Butts said. “They came over the top. They came, jumped, went over.”
Butts was involved in dozens of rescues, including the one captured Sunday. Lifeguards believe social media is making the spot popular with kids but warn it’s no place to play.
“The rocks are sharp, they’re slippery. And with the surge it’s very, very, very dangerous. No two ways about it,” Horn said.
Lifeguards plan to re-evaluate the water conditions again Wednesday morning.