Fourth of July Was Relatively Quiet Which Was Just Fine with the Locals
• Tragic Drowning at Zuma Beach Preceded the Holiday
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
While authorities are calling the Fourth of July three-day weekend largely “uneventful” with regard to crowds, traffic or incidents, on Thursday a drowning took place at Zuma Beach that contrasted sharply with the holiday that followed.
It was reportedly a typical Thursday summer afternoon when five swimmers ventured out into the water and were subsequently called in by lifeguards on the shore. The scene is repeated often at Zuma, where rip currents are seen by lifeguards on shore, who then convey the warning to swimmers in the water that they should move closer to shore.
“This time it was disastrous,” said a lifeguard captain, who indicated that the drowning of an 18-year-old male took place at Zuma Tower 3 at about 2 p.m.
According to the guard, “There were five swimmers that got pulled out in the rip current. There were lifeguards that were on the sand that called them in and then the lifeguards went out. One individual flailed his hands and went under the water. The other four were brought back to shore. It was too late by the time a lifeguard got to the fifth swimmer.”
The large holiday crowds that were anticipated never showed up by comparison to other Fourths. “There was about a half-million people total for all three days,” said another lifeguard, who indicated that Friday seemed busier than Saturday, which was a colder day with strong onshore winds that created whitecaps and kept temperatures down.
Sunday was described as a “normal Sunday” by lifeguards. There were 26 rescues over the three days, which was described as “not even noteworthy.”