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Deadly Rip Currents, Shark Attack Disrupt Holiday Weekend at LA Beaches

By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
July 9, 2014; 5:47 AM ET

A veteran lifeguard drowned during a rip current rescue in Newport Beach this weekend, according to the Associated Press.

Ben Carlson, 32, disappeared under a large wave attempting to rescue a swimmer, according to local police. The swimmer made it to shore safely.

The AP reported that a three-hour search was conducted before Carlson's body was pulled from the waters.

Rip currents are narrow, fast-moving channels of water that move away from the beach due to irregularities along the shoreline such as sandbars and piers. If caught in one, a rip current can pull a swimmer far away from the shoreline.

"If caught in a rip current, the best thing to do is to swim parallel to the shore out of the rip current," Ocean Rescue Supervisor David Elder of the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department recently told AccuWeather.

The National Weather Service had issued rip current warnings over the weekend and the threat continues into this week.

It is important to remember to listen to beach officials when risky water situations arise. By not heeding warnings, you may end up endangering more lives than your own.

Ocean's Greatest Danger: Rip Currents Are Deadly but Avoidable
Shark Attacks: Where in the World Are You Most Vulnerable?
Warm Summer Waters Induce Shark Migration to East Coast Beaches

In other ocean dangers, a man was bit by a shark off Manhattan Beach on Saturday.

Steven Robles was bit by a 7-foot-long great white shark while swimming near a fisherman, who had caught the shark on his line and wrangled for 30 minutes trying to reel the shark in, the AP reported.

In 2013, the United States had a total of 47 shark attacks, according to the International Shark Attack File. (Design Pics/Thinkstock)

After realizing the shark had bit a swimmer, the fisherman cut the line, and surfers and other swimmers around Robles were able to transport him to shore on a surfboard, according to the AP.

An accomplished swimmer, Robles was released from the hospital by Sunday morning.

"It came up to the surface, it looked at me and attacked me right on the side of my chest," Robles told KABC-TV. "That all happened within two seconds; I saw the eyes of the shark as I was seeing it swim toward me. It lunged at my chest, and it locked into my chest."

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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