5 teenagers rescued from the water at Ocean Beach, 2 remain in critical condition

Photo: Citizen

By Teresa Hammerl - Published on June 11, 2020.

Five teenagers were rescued from the water at Ocean Beach Thursday afternoon, two of whom were transported to a hospital in critical condition, officials said.

The incident was first reported around 2:30 p.m. National Park Service ocean rescue staff responded and retrieved the "teenagers in distress" from the waters, an NPS representative said on Twitter. 

Multiple SFFD rescue units also responded to the scene at Great Highway and Sloat Boulevard, according to spokesperson Lt. Jonathan Baxter.

As we previously reported, while Ocean Beach is a beautiful place, it's also a dangerous one. Several times each year, swimmers and surfers have to be rescued from the water, where waves regularly top three feet and temperatures average 56 degrees, even in July.

Just last week, a 31-year-old man died after he was caught in a current and carried out to sea at Ocean Beach. A second swimmer, a 22-year-old man, was in stable condition after he was rescued by a surfer.

Because the heavy surf at Ocean Beach has created sandbars offshore, incoming waves are forced into a large trough along the shoreline. As the water flows back to sea between two sandbars, it creates a rip current.

To get out of a rip current, swimmers should swim parallel to shore to escape the current, then paddle back to shore once they've broken free. As long as a swimmer knows what to do, has enough energy and can suppress a panic response, the odds are in their favor.

Update 5:40 p.m.: Baxter said on Twitter that the three boys in stable condition are 15, 16 and 17 years old. The two boys in serious condition are aged 16 and 17 years.

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