Rancho Palos Verdes Places 72 Hour Restriction During Search for - KMSP-TV

Rancho Palos Verdes Places 72 Hour Restriction During Search for Lost Teen

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Rancho Palos Verdes, CA - For the next 72 hours authorities have closed off to swimmers both Portuguese Point and Inspiration Point where the recovery attempt is ongoing. 

They have not found anything yet and just suspended their underwater search.

Locals say they've been coming here for decades and just now safety is becoming an issue.

Divers from Emergency Services Detail have been searching the water and caves for 18-year-old Joseph Sanchez after authorities say they believe he drown when the water got rough Wednesday. His family watching from nearby as divers receive a tow bar so they can have more control and not be tossed around.

"There's no visibility. There's a lot of surges," Sargent Phil Barth from Emergency Services Detail said.

Barth says safety's a real issue here especially for swimmers.

Tuesday, five swimmers were rescued after getting stuck on rugged rocks.

"We've been out here before, young folks seem to think their invincible. It seems very nice our here, but it's actually very dangerous," Barth said.

There are no signs warning of rip currents. There are no lifeguards at the points.

There's a fence, that's used to stretch from point to point, now there's not much left.

Still people pay $5.00 to park at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park...some to admire the scenery, but many to swim.

"I started coming here as a kid with neighbors and I never stopped coming here. It's a fickle break, it doesn't do it that often, but when It does. It's very well," long time surfer Steve said.

Steve's says he's been coming to Sacred Cove, which is just next to Abalone Cove since he was 13 years old.

"Sacred as in, not a common place to go to. It's sacred," Steve said.

Shannon Strong says he's also been coming here for years.

"Ive grown up here and come here my whole life. I've brought my own kids here," Strong said admitting he's been back inside the cave.

"It's creepy, it's cool," Strong said

They both say they doubt there will ever be a lifeguard.

"It's not your traditional kind of beach, sandy or waves. They charge for parking because it's a park. It's not known for swimming, but people do," Strong said.

There have been 60 rescues here since the 4th of July, including three airlifts, according to LA County Fire.

LA County Fire, Lifeguards and the city of Rancho Palos Verdes met Thursday morning to discuss how to make the area more safe.

There's talk of putting up "no swimming" signs, but that has not been approved at this point.


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