BUSAN, South Korea – The Korea Meteorological Administration has warned against more possible riptides after strong rip currents at Haeundae Beach caused lifeguards to save 143 swimmers Saturday afternoon.
According to the Chosun Ilbo, Maritime police at Haeundae said the riptides occurred at around 10:45 a.m., 12:20 and 12:40 p.m on Saturday between watchtowers No. 5 and 7. The first 66 swimmers were dragged 70 to 80 meters out and required the help of lifeguards to get back to the beach.
Another 40 swimmers had to be rescued around noon, forcing the Maritime police to cordon off the entire beach at 12:15 p.m. and did not allow swimmers back in until 3:30 p.m. An additional 30 had to be rescued later in the day.
"There were no riptides spotted from June 1, when the beach opened, until the end of July," maritime police said. "But we had to rescue around 100 swimmers on Thursday and Friday due to riptides. Having to rescue 143 people in one day is quite unusual."
Upwards of 800,000 people were at the beach each day this past weekend.