Thursday, July 10, 2014

Abalone Cove: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

 Image Source:  @LACoFDPIO on Twitter, July 9, 2014
This past week has seen a rash of ocean rescues at Palos Verdes' Abalone Cove.  With a large southern swell hitting our coast there have been multiple rescues from both the shoreline and from our Baywatch Rescue boats.  In spite of all the lifesaving efforts of both beachgoers and lifeguards there have now been reportedly two drownings in the past week.  This area is very dangerous because of the tide pools, rock outcroppings, caves, the ocean swells and the disparate ocean depth in and around this area.  Many of the individuals that go into the water in this area have very poor swimming skills and are unprepared for the above-referenced challenging conditions.


This is a beautiful and scenic area to check out the tide pools at a low tide when there are no swells and the ocean is calm.

 Image Source:  photo by Sweet_Pisces, "Inspiration Point", July 2012

•  Abalone Cove Ecological Preserve

•  Abalone Cove Shoreline Park!1s0x80dd495a2b5ea5a9:0xfd7a0daa3917d0cf!2m5!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i100!3m1!7e1!4s!5sabalone+cove+-+Google+Search&sa=X&ei=SPi-U5n_JMzYoAStnIKoCA&sqi=2&ved=0CKMBEKIqMA8


The tide pools, the caves, and the rocks are very inviting to young people who are adventurous and want to play in the ocean and jump off the rocks.  As one YouTube poster, Michelle Balk, revealed in a video she shot on April 10, 2014, Abalone Cove can be dangerous:

•  Abalone Cove - can be DANGEROUS!
Additionally, the following two media stories feature video that illustrate the dangerous conditions in this area:

•  Two Men Rescue Teen From Water in Rancho Palos Verdes

•  Five Rescued from Rancho Palos Verdes Jetty

comment:  One anonymous local ocean lifeguard had this to say about the conditions in this area:  "I swim in and out of this area from the rescue boat with a mask for my workout. I wanted to know what it looks like down below, it gets deep fast! The wave/surge gets forced up from 30ft to 5ft in a very short distance! Making it one of the most dangerous natural hazards I've seen in LA County.  Additionally, high tide strandings are common,  and the risk of cervical spine injury is high. The youths that are jumping keep trying to out do each other!... by jumping from increasingly more dangerous locations. The landing area in the water is small with a large rock in the center to avoid. Add a large swell to the mix!... and it makes it very dangerous for them and for our lifeguards."


The spate of rescues and lifesaving efforts, especially in the past week, during the period of large surf has created a confluence of dangerous conditions and sadly has resulted in two deaths by drowning.

Media Links:

•  Swimmer missing off Abalone Cove amid high surf advisory

•  Search for missing swimmer enters second day

*** It is hoped that between the Lifeguard authorities and other public safety officials, as well as the media that word can get out to the public of the dangers that exist in this area, especially during periods of strong ocean swells and currents.

Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

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