SAN DIEGO — A man in his late 50s died Sunday morning after drowning near the flat rock area at Torrey Pines State Beach, first responders said.
The incident happened a mile from the closest lifeguard tower, California State Parks lifeguards told FOX 5.
“Generally speaking, it’s not a highly used aquatic area. There is, as the name entails, there is a large rock that goes into the water, making it a dangerous area to be swimming in general,” California State Parks lifeguard Lieutenant Erik Burgan said.
State and San Diego lifeguards responded to the drowning. Guards used a jet ski to get the person to shore.
Jay Lombardo, a San Diego resident, spent all day at the beach and said he saw the incident unfold.
“Saw a lot of vehicular activity, the lifeguards zoomed down and got in the water, apparently they brought them up to the sand and there was sort of a huddle around that,” Lombardo said.
Burgan said the lifeguards performed CPR, but the victim died at the scene.
State lifeguards along with law enforcement are investigating the drowning death.
Also on Sunday, San Diego Lifeguards reported six rescues at Ocean Beach. This time of year, there are fewer lifeguards since it is no longer peak summer season, and more safety precautions people must keep in mind.
“Escape the heat, hit the beach,” said Diego Vazquez, a resident visiting Mission Beach.
Heading to the beach on a hot day is often a popular spot, it also comes with safety tips.
“When people are coming to cool off, make sure they are swimming near a lifeguard,” said Lieutenant Brian Clark, with the San Diego Lifeguards.
Clark said 80-90% of rescues are because of rip currents. For example, Clark said Ocean Beach’s ocean floor is not flat. There are holes that cause rip currents, pulling the water back.
Guards say remain calm if you get caught in one.
“If you’re not a strong swimmer, keep your feet planted on the bottom. If you are going to boogey board, ride waves in,” Clark said.
Outside of peak summer season, San Diego lifeguards are still in the seasonal towers and the main towers. Guards are giving warnings to people in the water. Several swimmers say they listen to what the guards say, and swim to their abilities.
“If a lifeguard tells me not to go there, I don’t go there,” beachgoer Alex Cruz said.