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Beach patrol defusing military flare saves 4 at Ocean Beach!

Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California

Four teenagers trapped in a riptide were rescued by a a beach patrol unit at Ocean Beach today, after being warned earlier in the day to get out of the water! The waters off San Francisco are dangerous year round, but especially so in the fall, when riptides get stronger and warmer weather (one of our closely guarded :-) secrets) attracts beach-goers into deeper water. says:

Around 2:30 p.m., National Park Police responded to reports of an unexploded piece of ordnance on the beach, said Alexandra Picavet, a spokeswoman for the National Parks Service. As police and beach patrol units cordoned off the area around the flare, a passerby alerted them to swimmers in the water that appeared to be in trouble, Picavet said.

The teens weren’t far from where the flare had been found, so members of the beach patrol hopped in the water and helped them to safety without incident, Picavet said.

None of the four girls rescued were seriously injured, but they were taken to a hospital for observation.

“It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock over a full-grown adult and, once you’re down, the rip currents can pull you out very quickly,” she said. “Everyone is this situation was extremely lucky to come away healthy and cared for.”

The military flare was detonated without incident.

-Bill at

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