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Labor Day Crowds Soak In Sun, Brave Large Waves At The Wedge

LOS ANGELES ( — There were lighter crowds than expected at Southern California beaches Monday, but that didn't stop rip currents from keeping lifeguards busy this Labor Day.

Lifeguards have made countless contacts and at least 100 rescues.

The towering waves at the Wedge in Newport Beach, however, brought sets of up to 15-feet. Daredevils braved the intimidating waves and put on a show for spectators who lined the beach.

Many locals flocked to the beach to soak up some sun, while others enjoyed the large waves and surf.

But not just locals enjoyed the great surf, as Eduardo Rodriguez drove from Oxnard to partake in the festivities.

"It was a two-hour drive. I live in Oxnard so I came all the way out here with my friends and honestly it's pretty worth it," he said.

Other beach-goers, like the Munoz family, stuck to tradition this Labor Day and held a beach picnic. It's a tradition they say they've observed for the past seven years and didn't plan on breaking it this year.

Despite lighter than normal holiday crowds, lifeguards gave 1,000 beach warnings and made at least 100 rescues.

"The surf is large, but it's not absolutely huge or massive," Newport Beach Battalion Chief Brent Jacobsen said.

"But again, we just don't have a lot of population today, possibly a lot of people have gone back to school and so they just aren't coming down to the beach today," he added.

Around 3 p.m. a Newport Beach lifeguard boat had to rescue three swimmers in Cameo Shores and one at the Wedge.

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