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Memorial Day full of Southland beachgoers

May 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
For many people Memorial Day meant a trip to the beach, whether it was camping on the sand or spending the day in the ocean.

Last year the beaches were overcast and chilly, but this year it was sunny and warm. The holiday weekend is a busy time for lifeguards. The U.S. Lifesaving Association gave beachgoers tips.

  • Swim near a lifeguard

  • Never swim alone

  • Don't fight the current

  • Leash your board

  • Swim sober

"Our job as emergency medical technicians is to stabilize patients," said Huntington Beach City Lifeguard Chief Kyle Lindo. "Our primary tool, what we use the most, and most effectively to provide safety is the rescue buoy." He said that last year the buoy was used to rescue over 2,800 people from the ocean.

High surf advisory was in effect until 9 p.m. for beaches in L.A. and Ventura counties. People gathered at Dockweiler State Beach for Memorial Day. Sunday was uncomfortable with heavy winds at the RV park. Monday proved to be a lot more pleasant, with people taking in the beautiful weather.

"I think everyone should take a moment and pause for today," said El Segundo resident Maura Slavens. "And think about those who have fought for our country and who are still fighting today. And really take a moment and appreciate what the day really is for. Being with family and friends is a good way, and the best way I think, to celebrate it."

Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day; it started in May 1868 to honor the Union soldiers that died during the Civil War. After World War I it became a holiday to honor all veterans.


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