Despite the advice of lifeguards, 64 high school students went on Tuesday to San Diego coast with three coaches for an annual swim training, which consisted on a competition of long-distance swim.

According to Sgt. Ed Harris of San Diego Lifeguards the weather conditions weren’t appropriate for the teenagers to carry out the competition: it was windy at the beach, the water was about 59 degrees and the waves were over 2 feets high.

A student with the Rancho Verde High School swim team is wrapped in a blanket to keep him warm before being taken to an ambulance for evaluation after he and others were taken from the water at La Jolla Cove on Tuesday March 29, 2016. — John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune

The school district affirmed that in a meeting before the swim, lifeguards alerted the students and the coach of the bad conditions and recommended them to call off the activity, but coaches insisted and told the group that they were able to accomplish the long-distance swim, reported ABC News.

After being approximately half a mile away from shore, some students began to faint due the rough conditions. “A couple of them started to panic which triggered other ones to get a little bit scared and it just snowballed into a mass rescue,”, Harris explained.

Savers of the day

According to ABC News, lifeguards ended up by pulling out of the water 22 students with surfboards, jet skis, and boats. Some of them were in shock and suffering from hypothermia, and a 16-year-old girl, that swallowed some water, was taken to the hospital unconscious.

According to Chris Wynn, Val Verde Unified spokesman assured that the students are well, and added that they will keep investigating the incident to “determine if safety practices were compromised in any way.”

Source: ABC News