L.A. County Lifeguards Rescue at Least 129 People as Rip-Current Warning Remains in Effect

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Los Angeles County lifeguards rescued at least 129 people Saturday as a rip-current warning remained in effect, officials said.

Seal Beach was hit with high surf on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

Seal Beach was hit with high surf on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

"It was pretty crazy today — thousands of people on the beach," said A.J. Lester of the L.A. County Fire Department's Lifeguard Division. "People (were) running back and forth, making rescues, backing each other up."

Twenty-three of the rescues were made at Hermosa Beach, Lester said. Lifeguards were preventing swimmers from wandering into rip currents "and we were also jumping into rip currents to save people," he added.

Elevated surf and sneaker waves are expected to continue through Sunday morning at west- and northwest-facing shores in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and on Catalina Island, according to the National Weather Service.

The highest waves are expected near Ventura Harbor and Port Hueneme.

"Strong rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea," the weather service said in a statement. "Unpredicted larger waves can suddenly wash people off of beaches and rock jetties into the cold water quickly, leading to a life-threatening situation."

Beachgoers were advised to stay near occupied lifeguard towers and swim with at least one partner.

Anyone caught in a rip current should swim parallel to the shore, officials said.

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