MORENO VALLEY ( — Lifeguards rescued about two dozen Riverside County teens from the chilly waters off La Jolla Tuesday after they suffered hypothermia and exhaustion.

The youths were among a group of 62 swim-team members from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley.

The students were faced with gusty winds, choppy surf and 59-degree water near La Jolla Cove, according to Lee Swanson of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Lifeguards on water scooters ferried the victims to shore, where paramedics evaluated them around 1 p.m.

“It was a little chilly. At the beginning, I was kind of hyperventilating and stuff. But then, I got used to it, and I just kept going,” Vanessa Magama said.

Students said one swimmer panicked, causing others to worry, but most of the swim team did finish the workout without a problem.

One angry parent claims lifeguards did not tell her daughter that the water was too cold and rough for the one-mile swim. “They should’ve been warned and they weren’t, and it was put out there that they were. That’s the only thing we have to say. All of them are safe and sound, and we’re good,” she said.

Swanson said lifeguards did warn the teens about the rough conditions.

Eight teenagers were treated at the scene for excessive cold exposure. One student was taken to a hospital.

CBS2/KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz asked the swim coaches about what happened out in the waters, but they were hesitant to share any information.

This is the second year the team has done this spring break trip with the school.


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