The long holiday weekend was a busy one for Malibu Search and Rescue (SAR) that has seen an unusually high number of rescues this year. The holiday weekend from Friday, June 30, to July 4, Malibu SAR was busy participating in eight rescues. Two were related to brush fires, one near King Gillette Ranch and the other in Topanga. On July 1, Malibu SAR was called to help a hiker who fell near Mulholland and Stunt Road with an injured ankle; another injured hiker was rescued at Malibu Creek State Park and a missing hiker was found nearby, all on the same day.
Monday MSAR was called for two separate cliff rescue operations both near PCH and Tuna Canyon. One hiker was airlifted out, the other was helped by ground crews.
MSAR has had 94 rescues so far in 2017 — an unprecedented number. In the last six years rescues numbered anywhere from 93 to a record 132 rescues in one year alone. 2017 appears to be on a troubling record-setting pace. MSAR Team Leader David Katz explained, “Last year we were at 105 rescues. So by comparison we’re only 11 rescues away from last year’s entire year and we’re only half way through the year.”
While rescues were up over the weekend, beach attendance for the Fourth of July continued a downward trend at only 315,000 counted on beaches from Nicholas Canyon to Topanga across the long holiday weekend, according to LA County Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Spencer Parker. That’s about half of the number who came out for the summer holiday as recently as 2013.
The Fourth of July drew nearly 380,000…
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