LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - L.A. County lifeguards rescued five people from a rip current on Thursday at Dockweiler State Beach.
Two people are in critical condition, one is in serious condition and the other two are expected to be fine.
Just south of Lifeguard Tower 55 in Playa Del Rey's Dockweiler Beach, a rip current caught four people at about 5:30 p.m. A bystander jumps in to help and also gets caught in the current. Five lifeguards dive into the ocean to save them. A crowd gathers around the beach while three lifeguards carry a 25-year-old man into the shore and start CPR.
"It was just very heartwarming to see all the people closing in, generally worried for the well-being of the person who got caught in the rip current," said Jimmy Bernal.
Bernal and his friends came out to Dockweiler at 10 a.m., started a fire on the beach and set up camp for the day. Lifeguards warned them to swim in between their flags to stay safe, and about an hour later, they saw why.
"I was like, 'that's someone's father, that's someone's daughter,'" said Aaron Cash who captured the rescue on his iPhone. "That could've been me and I told my friends too, 'that could've been us.' If we hadn't listened, that could've been us."
Fox 11's Pablo Pereira says L.A. County Beaches are at high risk for rip currents through Friday.
Lifeguards remind swimmers to swim in between their flags and say if you happen to get caught in a rip current, do not fight it. Stay afloat, remain calm and swim parallel to the shore. Rip currents don't typically last long so you will be out of it in no time and can then swim back into the beach.