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Encinitas bluff collapse victims identified; site 'still active'

Posted at 10:56 AM, Aug 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 17:54:08-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) — The victims of Friday's deadly bluff collapse in Encinitas were identified Saturday, as officials reopened the beach but cautioned that the area remained active.

Speaking to the press, Encinitas Lifeguard Captain Larry Giles said the site around the collapse will remain taped off from the public as crews continue to assess the stability of the rock.

"From what we've learned this morning ... the area's still active. [Geotechnical consultant] is concerned about the areas to the side of the current failure failing," Giles said. "The failure is not affecting the structures up top. Geotech is assuring us that is not a factor."

RELATED: Three dead, two injured in north San Diego County bluff collapse

A 30-foot by 25-foot slab of rock came crashing down onto Grandview Beach at about 3 p.m. Friday, killing one person and injuring four others. Two of those injured in the collapse later died of their injuries.

Two of the three victims were identified as 35-year-old Anne Clave and 65-year-old Julie Davis.

Officials moved a nearby lifeguard tower next to the site of the collapse as a safety precaution, Giles said. The beach, though, would reopen to the public Saturday, Giles said.

Lifeguards will be posted nearby throughout the weekend as well.


Moments after the collapse, beachgoers and lifeguards began sifting through the rubble to save those caught in the rocks' path.

"The lifeguard was there, adjacent to the incident, felt it, heard it. It just happened to take place outside of his peripheral, as he was watching the water it happened behind him," Giles told reporters. "He immediately got out of the lifeguard tower, called it in, sized it up, started requesting resources and engaged in doing rescue work.

"Other lifeguards in the area filtered in quickly along with fire crews from around the area."

INTERACTIVE MAP: Most recent San Diego County bluff collapses

Lifeguards warn beachgoers about hazardous areas of the beach's bluffs, Giles added. Though, lifeguards can only warn visitors and not forcibly remove them from being too close.

The city recommends beachgoers stay 25 to 40 feet away from bluffs and exercise caution due to the cliffs' natural instability.

"This is a naturally eroding coastline so it does happen from time to time. This is an isolated incident ... at this location," Giles said. "Our hearts go out to the families and friends that were involved."

RELATED: Encinitas bluffs are a trouble spot known to geologists