Busy day for first responders in Long Beach

Swimmers in distress, a sinking boat and major power outage among the many emergency calls


A ‘large’ power outage in the East End, elevator rescues, multiple alarms, a sinking boat off the shore, and several swimmers in distress made for a busy day for Long Beach firefighters, police and lifeguards last week.

On May 25, at 11:14 a.m., off-duty Long Beach lifeguards and local surfers pulled several swimmers to safety after they were found in distress close to the jetty at Riverside Boulevard. Firefighters and police also rushed to the scene.

“Upon arrival of Long Beach lifeguards, multiple victims were found in the ocean dangerously close to the rocks,” the Fire Department said on Facebook. “A rescue board was deployed along with multiple rescue swimmers. All victims were removed from the ocean with the assistance of local surfers and lifeguards.

Four victims were taken to area hospitals in stable condition with cuts, bruises and difficulty breathing, according to the Fire Department.

“Some kids from out of town went into the water without lifeguards on duty and ended up having to be rescued,” said Fire Chief Joseph Miller. “It turned out to be a very busy day.”

The incident occurred just a day before lifeguards went on duty for the Memorial Day weekend. Lifeguards are on duty on the weekends through June 18, and daily from June 24 to Sept. 4, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The girl was clinging to a soccer ball — that’s what really saved her life,” Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said of one of the victims. “The other three were really jetty injuries — but she was the one who was submerged. I don’t think she knows how lucky she really is.”

Firefighters and other first responders later rushed to Neptune Boulevard beach at 5:28 p.m. following a report of a boat in distress. The boat, officials said, had lost power, was drifting close to the shoreline and taking on water.

“A fire department jet ski was launched and the sole driver of the sinking boat was safely removed with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard,” the Fire Department said on Facebook. “The boat was safely secured by the Coast Guard and there were no reported injuries.”

That evening, there were also scattered power outages on Park Avenue and other parts of the East End that were left in the dark for about two hours, including the Long Beach movie theater and Pier 1 Imports. Police and firefighters could be seen rushing along Park Avenue to multiple calls and, with a number of traffic lights out, directing vehicles at Long Beach Boulevard.

“We were busy with multiple power outages, alarms and elevator rescues,” Miller said.

Kemins attributed the outage to a transformer fire on Neptune Boulevard and Shore Road. No injuries were reported, although firefighters rescued three people who were briefly stuck in elevators, Kemins said.

“It caused a large power outage in the East End,” he said. “It was most of Shore Road and some of Broadway.”

No major incidents were reported over the weekend, Miller said.