Damp Weather Makes for Quiet Memorial Day

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Members of the Malibu/Lost Hills Mounted Posse, Reserve Deputy Tom Slosson (left) and civilian volunteer Alyce Schwartz (right) survey the beach on Memorial Day, though a low turnout meant fewer than usual citations, rescues and other issues.

Memorial Day Weekend was just a few days ago and, once again, colorful umbrellas dotted the entire coastline. From outer space, it may have looked like an expansive pile of cake sprinkles.

In previous years, Malibu has been known to draw tens of thousands of visitors, filling parking lots to capacity and causing gridlock for miles. 

This year was different: Roadways were relatively clear for the three-day weekend, and crowds were smaller.

According to Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Deputy Mitchell Bowen, although there were a few incidents on Zuma Beach, it was “quiet” in comparison to previous years. Bowen suggested that it might have been due to the weather.

“Nice day… cool and cold, so people stayed home,” Bowen said Monday. “All has been quiet. It’s been slow.” 

Traffic incidents, criminal behavior, water rescues and medical emergencies were almost nonexistent during this year’s Memorial Day Weekend in Malibu.

Bowen said that on Saturday, the Westward Beach parking lot was “full” but that Zuma Beach didn’t fill up.

As of Monday at 1 p.m., it appeared that the Zuma Beach lot was only about 50 percent filled, and by the end of the day, it still wasn’t at capacity. 

Bowen theorized: “Weather is keeping people away.”

As far as Zuma Beach incidents, Bowen mentioned only one.

“One call came in because a group of people were playing football, and inadvertently kicked sand on some people nearby,” Bowen said. “But we went over and resolved it without any further problems.”

David Katz, reserve deputy and operations leader for the Malibu Search and Rescue Team, reported a traffic incident for Memorial Day: “We had a car over the side on Malibu Canyon, but there was no victim.”

Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station’s Mounted Posse was also present throughout the weekend. Reserve deputy Tom Slosson and civilian volunteer Alyce Schwartz were on horses patrolling Zuma Beach on Memorial Day, and only had one incident, which was resolved almost immediately.

“A child got lost from his parents,” Slosson said. “We found the parents a few life guard towers away, and reunited the family.”

At 1 p.m. Memorial Day, the Malibu Lifeguard HQ at Zuma Beach reaffirmed that it had been “quiet” all weekend and that “no water rescues” had been performed.

As far as alcohol consumption on Zuma Beach, Bowen said that hadn’t been an issue.

“There wasn’t as much alcohol,” Bowen said. “A few people were playing beer pong, but when we went over to see, they were playing with water in the cups.”