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Lifeguards, firefighters & police manage over 500K holiday beachgoers

A Coast Guard patrol boat returning to San Diego after six weeks in a San Francisco drydock diverted three miles to rescue a swamped recreational boat off Mission Beach Sunday.

SAN DIEGO – More than half a million people visited San Diego city beaches over the weekend and on the Fourth of July, while city lifeguards were involved in nearly 550 rescues and medical aid operations during those three days, officials announced Wednesday.

On Saturday, Sunday and the July Fourth holiday Tuesday, officials estimate 572,100 people crowded San Diego’s beaches, said Monica Munoz, spokeswoman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. During those three days, lifeguards made 283 rescues and were involved in 266 medical aid operations, Munoz said.

“The majority of the rescue activity occurred in Pacific and Windansea beaches,” Munoz said.

SDFRD personnel also responded to a collision in Mission Bay involving two personal watercraft and provided towing assistance to a rented personal watercraft in the Sunset Cliffs area and another in the Ocean Beach area, Munoz said. Rescuers also responded late Tuesday to a call of three people trapped by high tide in the La Jolla area.

Lifeguards also reported more than 8,800 preventative acts during the three days, including giving advice to beachgoers about hazardous swimming conditions, educating visitors about laws on the beach and issuing citations.

“Overall it was a fantastic holiday weekend thanks to firefighters, lifeguards, ( the police department) and special event traffic controllers,” Munoz said.