20 high school swimmers rescued during long distance open swim

20 high school swimmers rescued during long distance open swim

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20 high school swimmers rescued during long distance open swim

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Open water swimming is a difficult pursuit. Add in rising, dangerous surf conditions and it can be a killer … almost literally.

As reported by the San Diego Union Tribune, among other sources, some 20 Rancho Verde High School swim team members were pulled out of the surf near La Jolla where they were taking part in a long distance training swim. The 20 student athletes were part of a larger group of more than 60 swimmers from Rancho Verde as a whole.

According to Los Angeles ABC affiliate KTLA, one 16-year-old girl was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital, and at least seven others were treated for excessive cold exposure.

Here’s how the Union Tribune described the conditions that necessitated the rescue effort:

“As the dozens of swimmers set off, some ran into difficulties because of the gusting winds and choppy surf. Some drifted north and were rescued close to La Jolla Shores about 1 p.m. The water was about 59 degrees, and the waves were about 2 to 4 feet tall, and winds gusted from 11.5 to 17 mph, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson said.

Lifeguards helped 20 students back to the beach between the Cove and the Shores and additional swimmers straggled to shore wherever they could. They were gathered at Kellogg Park and all were accounted for.”

The Rancho Verde teens were doubtlessly happy to be back on dry land, with Tuesday’s event underscoring another important lesson: open water swimming is for the masses, not the racers.

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