Monterey County

Local life guards beefing up patrols for Labor Day weekend

Emergency crews prep for busy Labor Day weekend

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Twin Lakes State Beach is one of many seashore areas on the Central Coast packed with locals and tourists celebrating Labor Day and traditionally the last weekend of summer.

"I built like a little place for sand crabs but the water came in so hard that it washed it all away," said Jameson Hannan of San Jose.

"I just got this boat a couple of weeks ago so I wanted to take it out on a beautiful day like this," said Yves of Aptos.

With many boats and people hitting the deep waters this holiday weekend is anticipated to be a busy one for Santa Cruz State Parks lifeguards.

"We've had just some minor stuff, medicals, lost children," said Eddie Rhee-Pizano, State Parks Santa Cruz Life Guard Supervisor.  "We had a boat rescue off of Pleasure point, it took up an hour of our time in the afternoon."

To deal with the large crowds, rescues and other emergencies, they're doubling up on lifeguards and patrolling the water with jet skis.

"We're watching the water to make sure people are safe, they're not getting caught in rip currents," said Pizzano. "Making sure they stay close to shore, staying away from boats, staying away from any marine hazards in the water."

They're keeping a close eye on the land as well.

"From illegal activity to unsafe activity," said Pizzano. "Digging holes in the sand, building wood structures. Stuff that might hurt someone just trying to keep those at bay."

If you plan on coming to the beach this weekend life guards said you should do more than just put on sunscreen and a life jacket.

"If you get caught in a rip current the key is to stay calm and swim parallel to shore," said Pizzano.

It's also recommended that beachgoers always go in an area where there is a lifeguard on duty, swim with a buddy and know their limits.

Life guards also said drinking or hard objects like surfboards and skim boards are not allowed in the water at certain areas of the beach.

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