Labor Day filled with humidity and beach rescues

It was a typical Labor Day weekend on Laguna's beaches, even if the humidity was unusual.

Lifeguards made 147 rescues Friday through Monday among moderate surf and crowded beaches, Laguna Beach Marine Safety Capt. Tom Trager said.

Surf from the southwest averaged 2 to 4 feet and water temperatures ranged from 62 to 66 degrees, a bit lower than normal for this time of year, he said.

Rescues were spread among Treasure Island, Main Beach and Crescent Bay and mainly occurred close to shore, Trager said. The total was typical of previous Labor Day weekends with the moderate surf, he added.

"It was busy for Marine Safety, but could have been more so with larger surf and/or more sun," Trager said of the weekend as a whole.

Marine Safety is decreasing lifeguards as the summer wraps up, Trager said.

The department will go from 30 staffed towers to 10 and three patrol units through this weekend and for the remaining weekends this month, Trager said.

Beginning in October, three to four towers will be staffed only on weekends at Treasure Island and two on Main Beach, while marine safety officers patrol and offer emergency response throughout the year, he said.

In other public safety news, Laguna Beach police made two arrests during its latest DUI checkpoint last weekend out of 669 cars stopped, according to a news release.

Police also cited six people on suspicion of driving with a suspended license or operating an unlicensed vehicle at the checkpoint from 8 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at Coast Highway and Blue Lagoon Drive, the release said.

Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk- and drugged-driving deterrence and that provide the greatest safety for officers and the public.

Police also arrested two drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence during a checkpoint July 26, and arrested three other people on unrelated criminal charges, Sgt. Louise Callus wrote in an email.

Checkpoints provide the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Police will hold another DUI checkpoint in December.

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