Few Beach Visitors Over Holiday Weekend

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Locals and visitors enjoy the sand and surf at Zuma Beach during the holiday weekend. More than half a million people came out to Malibu beaches during Labor Day weekend, as seen above in 2013. 

A comparatively small crowd of just under 150,000 beach visitors came to Malibu over the four-day Labor Day Weekend, making it a “semi-busy weekend” according to LA County Lifeguard Captain Remy Smith.

There were “no major incidents in Malibu over the weekend,” according to information from the California Highway Patrol—a welcome contrast to the fatal crash and two fires that marked Labor Day Weekend 2017.

Malibu Search and Rescue captain David Katz described Labor Day 2018 as “a nice quiet holiday weekend,” writing in an email that there was one call that was quickly resolved.

Smith said the number of visitors coming to Malibu was “not as crazy as it used to be,” primarily because many schools are starting class in August, meaning kids are back to school by the time the holiday weekend rolls around. Cooler temperatures likely also came into play—crowds of nearly a half-million visitors flocked to Malibu’s beaches this Fourth of July during a record heatwave, but moderate temperatures likely kept many inland.

By comparison, just four and five years ago, Labor Day Weekend brought in 500,000 visitors to Malibu’s beaches, according to lifeguard estimates provided at the time.

Lifeguards take rough counts of beach visitors at county beaches in town, which includes Nicholas Beach, Zuma Beach, Point Dume, Corral Beach and Malibu Surfrider Beach—”27 miles of coastline,” Smith said. Topanga and Leo Carrillo state beaches are not included in the annual count.

In total, 149,700 visitors were counted at these beaches from Aug. 31-Sept. 3. There were 134 rescues in that time, 63 minor and major medical calls and 44 emergency vehicle responses. Malibu’s rescue boat had 17 emergency vehicle responses.

Beginning this week, lifeguard service begins scaling back to winter hours. Over the winter, there will still be guards stationed at Surfrider, Point Dume and Zuma beaches, including 24-hour service at Point Dume. A rescue boat will remain year-round in Malibu as well, operating on 10-hour shifts.