SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — About 30 people had to be rescued from the surf on beaches in Santa Cruz between Saturday and Sunday as warm temperatures drew big crowds to the water this weekend.
Santa Cruz Lifeguard Captain Britten Miles said it was a rare combination of huge holiday crowds, and a powerful south swell that prompted so many rescues.READ MORE: UPDATE: State Attorney General Opens Civil Rights Investigation into Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
“It’s a long period swell, which means it has a lot more energy, and it is a lot more likely to knock people over, and cause rip currents and stuff like that,” Miles said.
Lifeguards kept a close watch on the crowds, which swelled into the thousands.READ MORE: Elderly Man Wielding Baseball Bat Chases Burglar From His Palo Alto Home
“Lots of raw power. There were huge waves just overtaking people and sweeping them out. It was intense,” Hayden Loyd of Sonora said.
Hayden and his friends from Sonora were in the waves, but decided to get out.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: 2 Pedestrians Killed, 1 Hurt In Horrific San Jose Collision
“A few of the smaller kids were getting stuck out there, but the lifeguards came out and saved them,” Rocky Rozadillo of Sonora said.