210,000 Hit the Beaches on Summer’s First Sunday
An estimated 210,000 people enjoyed the sun and surf Sunday at Orange County beaches in what some beach officials called the “first really big beach day of the summer” with pleasant temperatures under clear, breezy skies.
Some 16,000 hit the sands at Seal Beach while Bolsa Chica State Beach reported 12,000 to 18,000. An estimated 30,000 people were at Huntington City Beach with another 42,000 at Huntington State Beach, lifeguards said.
Huntington State Beach Lifeguard Ken Kramer, 22, said the fact that it was a “pleasant tropical day” attracted “everybody and his mother” to the shores Sunday. He said the wind caused whitecaps and blowing sand, marring an otherwise perfect day for Huntington State Beach visitors. The air temperatures were in the 80s and water temperatures were 65 degrees, he said.
Newport Beach attracted about 72,000 people, lifeguards said. The day was were sunny and windy; surf was 2 to 3 feet. About 35,000 people headed to Laguna Beach, where air temperatures were in the low 70s and water temperature was 67 degrees. Surf was also light there.
Crystal Cove State Park saw double its usual beach activity on Sunday, according to Park Ranger Michael Eaton. The beach, which is fortressed by hills, attracted about 6,000 people, twice the average on a typical summer day.
“Everyone is out of school and the psychological effect of Friday being the first official day of summer brought the people out,” Eaton said. “It was funny because (Saturday) was just an average weekend day and today the weather wasn’t any different but we were twice as crowded. We filled our parking lots by 1 o’clock.”
Most beach officials reported minimal rescue activity because of the low surf and a light southwest wind that made temperatures seem cooler.