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SD Lifeguards remind beachgoers of dangerous water conditions

High Surf Advisory continues until 5 pm Tuesday
Mission Beach High Surf Advisory.png
Posted at 3:58 PM, Jan 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-17 12:59:41-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- San Diego Lifeguards remind beachgoers that despite the unseasonably warm weather, the water conditions remain dangerous.

To kickstart the three-day holiday weekend, coastal temperatures were in the 70's, and waves were up to eight feet tall. While this makes for a fun beach day, it's also deceptively dangerous.

"Summerlike weather and winterlike waves and winter temperatures in the water, it can pose some problems," San Diego Lifeguards Marine Safety Lt. Rich Stropky said. “All up and down the coast we are making water rescues. Tied to that, when there is big surf, there are always injuries.”

Last Sunday, when conditions were very similar, Lt. Stropky says a young man nearly drowned at Mission Beach. Lifeguards took him out of the water and resuscitated him. He was then sent to the hospital.

“They were caught in a rip current. It’s super dangerous right here, you could see it," one witness said.

Lt. Stropky is expecting many rescues to take place this holiday weekend.

Lt. Stropky says it's days like these where people forget we are still in winter, which means bigger waves with extremely strong rip currents.

"We are in a high surf advisory from late this afternoon until 5 PM on Tuesday so that should always tell somebody, 'Okay, red flag warning, just be a little bit cautious,'" Stropky advised.

The message is, do not put yourself in unnecessary danger especially if you’re a beginner.

"It’s beautiful, but we have to maintain that skill level. Wintertime is no time to learn to surf big waves," Stropky said.
Stropky also reminds boaters to exercise extreme caution as these wave conditions may lead to boats capsizing.