Thanks to the Southland’s persistent warm weather, attendance at Los Angeles County beaches this year has already soared well above the annual average, as has the number of ocean rescues, county lifeguard officials said today.
Over the last 20 years, the average number of people who visit county beaches in a year has been about 54.8 million. But as of Monday, more than 61.4 million had already hit county beaches, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division.
“For one, the lack of rain and extended periods of unseasonably warm weather this year have brought an increase in beach attendance to L.A. County beaches,” said acting chief lifeguard Steve Moseley. “Secondly, the frequency of high surf has caused frequent beach erosion and rip currents along our beaches. This in turn has caused more ocean rescues.”
According to the Lifeguard Division, there have been 11,666 ocean rescues already this year, above the average of 9,670 for an entire year.
Lifeguards have also made 972 boat rescues, up from the annual average of 85.
Moseley also noted that the ocean water has been particularly warm, rarely falling below 60 degrees in the winter and averaging above 70 degrees in the summer.
“All of these contributing factors have combined to create one of the busiest years in recent memory for the Lifeguard Division,” he said.