Sunday, May 29, 2011

Inshore Holes, Rip Currents... And SAND BARS !!!

We all know we've had a brutal winter with alot of rain and heavy surf. Thus, the spring rite of encountering the challenging inshore holes and rip currents has begun once again. The aerial photos above by LACo Recurrent (Ret.), Mark Holtzman (aka,; Copyright Mark Holtzman 2011. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.) this past week showed some gnarly rips in Venice on May 21, 2011:


Yesterday, while touring Southern Section Headquarters
with a first aid assist from So. Section Chief, Charlie Kissel, we were informed of rescues being made by southern section lifeguards, with large surf, and riptides. The beach bottom is also torn up in the south bay.

(Photo above shows So. Section Chief, Charlie Kissel, at SSHQ. Thanks for the first aid assist, Chief!)

We've amended or edited our previous shout out regarding Inshore Holes and Rips to include SAND BARS. Yesterday morning, prior to our SSHQ visit, the undersigned went for a swim at the Training Center out front in the surf at 2600 Strand, Manhattan Beach, in order to get a sense of the terrain and conditions in advance of our scheduled annual recheck swim.

At approximately 100 yards offshore adjacent to the first recheck buoy, we encountered (forehead and nose first) a sand bar 3 to 4 feet deep after having just swum in 10 foot deep water.
While diving under an approaching large wave the abrasions to the nose and forehead are a HUGE REMINDER to ALWAYS keep your hands out in front of you while not only dolphining in the shallows BUT ALSO even out past where you think it is deep. In Manhattan Beach adjacent to 2600 Strand, at least, with its pronounced downward sloping beach and mulitiple breaking points, you just never know where you will encounter a SAND BAR.

("Abrasions Only". Photo by Will Maguire.)




Until next time.....

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William Maguire said...

Just in from LACo So. Section Captain, Mike Cunningham, on the contours, inshore holes, etc. in Manhattan Beach:

From: Mike Cunningham
Subject: Re: Hey Mike! Question re 2600 Strand Surf, Sand Bars,Inshore Holes, etc.
Date: May 30, 2011
To: Will Maguire

"Hi Will,

Yep, we get some real deep holes inside this time of year. The sand deposits out in a kind of shoal, with deep spots inside. Sometimes it's about 5 feet deep at the end of the pier. Some of these deep spots can run 10 feet deep and no waves will break there. Surfers love it on high tide as the lefts and rights peel. Then it will get very shallow outside. We have had so many West and North swells recently that it is just dug out and does so every winter and spring. After about two or three South swells, it lines up better, the holes fill in, and the shoals outside move back and get deposited on shore.

Usually around mid-June we move towers up and may have to again by mid July because so much sand gets re-deposited...

Mike C

*** Thanks very much, Mike! ***

spyder said...

I recall, back in the late 70s, when i lived in Venice, i worked spring days at Navy/Rose, which meant i could walk about two hundred yards from my house to the tower. One Memorial Day weekend, the rips and inshore holes were absolutely dreadful. I think we (the two other guards and boat crews) had 37+ rescues that day. Most of which were made from the edge of a sandbar about 150+ feet outside the beach where i would stand. The rip would carry people out the inshore holes, and pass right by me; I could reach out and grab a victim as they smoked by on the littoral and the rip. Then i could hand them off to one of the guys to take back to the beach, and do it again. If they got outside, Baywatch was there to pick them up. The sandbars forced the waves to break on the inshore holes which made the whole scene really chaotic. I remember shuffling out, falling into a hole, riding the rip current out to the victims, and on the way hitting a sandbar that was no more than ten inches below the water line. That got my attention!

I hope you recover well, Take care of your neck...