Small crowds visit Malibu during the holiday weekend

A bomb squad was called to Zuma Beach on Sunday.

By Melonie Magruder / Special to The Malibu Times

Mild weather conditions kept Malibu beaches relatively quiet on the last official day of summer. Temperatures on Labor Day didn’t climb much above 75 degrees, winds were gentle and waves were on the smaller side.

“We saw about 200,000 people on beaches throughout Malibu [on Monday],” Captain Merrill Riley of the Zuma Lifeguard Station said. “There was maybe a hair less on Sunday. We had 74 ocean rescues, which is light for a holiday weekend, but the surf was not too big.”

Lifeguard Ryan Stephenson at Surfrider Beach confirmed the mellow beach conditions on Monday.

“The riptides are smaller and the shore pound is small,” he said Monday. “There were a couple of EMS [emergency service] calls for people stung by sting rays, but nothing much. It’s really a beautiful day and people are behaving themselves.”

Although there was a motorcycle accident Monday on Kanan Dume Road at Mullholland Highway, traffic was mild as well.

Lt. Scott Chew of the Lost Hills Sheriff Department, said, “Beach attendance seemed pretty low this year. Last year on Labor Day, I got stuck in traffic at the last tunnel coming over Kanan. This year, it was a clear shot all the way to PCH. So there were no traffic or parking problems at all. Zuma never even closed their parking lot.”

A moment of excitement took place Sunday afternoon, when the Sheriff’s Department sent bomb investigators to Zuma Beach.

“A guy found a bottle loaded with nails and BBs and stuff,” Zuma Lifeguard Chris Heinrich said.

Chew confirmed that the Sheriff’s Department bomb squad secured the device and was examining it. “But there’s no word yet on their analysis,” he said.

Strolling along the Malibu Pier on Monday, conversations could be heard in Russian, Korean, German, French and an Irish brogue.

Most visitors celebrated the holiday that honors the nation’s working men and women with traditional leisure activities.

Lilya Avagyan of Glendale was visiting Malibu for the first time.

“Malibu has such a nice atmosphere and everyone is so pleasant,” she said. “We will go to Legacy Park for the rides tonight. And we won’t go back to Glendale till it cools off.”

Robert Amato, sporting a Calamigos Ranch T-shirt, was fishing on the pier with his nephew, Ryan Faith.

“I come out here for the serenity,” Amato said. “My dad brought us out here since I was eight years old.”

While talking, he reeled in a heavy load of seaweed on his hook. “Well, caught some salad at least,” he said.

Siobhan Donnelly was playing volleyball on Surfrider Beach with her sister Savannah Bradley and friend Isaias Ramirez.

“We went to a party at my sister’s house and just hung out,” Donnelly said. “It’s such a beautiful day, we decided to come to the beach.”

Ramirez, who is from Chicago, was in Malibu for the first time and had just come out of the Navy with Donnelly.

“I’m thinking about a firefighter job,” Ramirez said about his future plans. “Would Malibu be a good place to look?”

At Zuma Beach, a large group of friends were playing volleyball and enjoying the sun.

“We just came off tour so we’re just chilling,” Melanie Sarao, of the rock band L.A. Velvet, said.

“Yeah, we’re all about the sun, losing sunglasses in the sand and food,” band mate Chris Hudson said. “We ate 80 chicken nuggets today.”

Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich spent the holiday weekend busy with children at the Chili Cook-Off and attending to city affairs.

“It was wonderful to see all the locals hook up together Friday night for the Chili Cook-Off,” she said. “Legacy Park is really heating up.”

Other than with city business, the mayor has been keeping busy training for the Sept. 14 Malibu Triathlon, which will take place at Zuma Beach.

“But my kids start school on Thursday, so we are off to look for hair cuts and shoes,” she said.

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