Limited lifeguard coverage in Long Beach raises safety concerns

Beach goers spent the day soaking up the sun in Long Beach Friday, but as inviting as the water looks officials want to make it clear there are no lifeguards on duty during the week and there won’t be until June 24th. 

"We don’t have chairs patrol full schedule until after school is out. We are here on the weekends," said Joe Brand, commissioner of parks and recreation for the city of Long Beach.

On Thursday afternoon a group of teenagers defied the signs and went in the water, but a rip current nearly claimed their lives. The 5 girls were swimming by the rocks on National Blvd.

"The tied started to go out and the girls got caught in a rip, they started panicking," says Richard Borawski, Chief Long Beach Lifeguard. 

But at that moment the emergency lifeguard crew happen to be patrolling the area and saw the girls in distress. They quickly jumped into action.

Monday-Friday the long beach lifeguards are operating on what they call a skeleton crew.

They have two emergency lifeguard crews with 5 lifeguards on each team driving up and down the beach every hour.

The teens were taken to the hospital and are doing just fine, that said it could have been a different outcome had the emergency lifeguards not been around.

For now, until June 24th lifeguards are only on duty on the weekends.