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Why L.A. County Lifeguards Had To Rescue More People Than Ever This Year

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Venice lifeguard tower (Photo by Eric Lassiter via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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L.A. County lifeguards have been so busy that they've already rescued 14,331 people from the start of this year to Nov. 3, and it has to do with the dangerous combination of warm weather and turbulent waters in SoCal.

Our last largest record set for ocean rescues was in 1997 with 14,096 rescues. Normally, we average about 9,670 rescues a year.

Acting Chief Lifeguard Steve Moseley told the L.A. Times that the high temperatures throughout the year have drawn more Angelenos than usual to the beaches—about 70.5 million, which is about 15 million more than the average figures. And at the same time, the ocean waters have been unusually dangerous due to stronger rip currents, which are caused by storms along the Pacific Ocean eroding the beaches.

There was also the rare lightning strikes over the summer that hit the sand and water at Venice Beach, killing one 20-year-old USC student and injuring a dozen more.