For Immediate Release: 7/16/2019

California State Parks Reminds Visitors of Unpredictable Ocean Conditions at Monastery Beach Despite New Lifeguard Tower

Contact: James Nothhelfer   I   Supervising State Park Peace Officer   I   (831) 649-2999


CARMEL, Calif. — Two weeks after unveiling a new lifeguard tower at Monastery Beach, California State Parks is reminding visitors to remain vigilant around the ocean. The tower stationed at Carmel River State Beach (Monastery) began staffing on June 29, 2019 as part of a pilot program this summer. Currently, it is staffed seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Over the last few years, State Parks has continued to increase public safety patrols around Monastery Beach and statistics reflect improvement in that area.  Although aquatic safety has improved due to increased regular patrols, the department continues to review and develop its aquatic safety program. 

It’s important to note that the tower at Monastery Beach does not designate it as a safe beach to swim at, ocean conditions are constantly changing and it is important to remember that all ocean conditions can present different threats. The lifeguard’s goal is to warn the public of the dangers at this beach and perform rescues as necessary. The tower will be staffed as much as possible during the summer months but is also dependent on staffing levels and if conditions warrant staffing the tower.

If you do visit Monastery Beach, be sure to:

  • Check with the lifeguard on current conditions.
  • Pay attention to signs on the ocean dangers.
  • Stay high and dry (Stay on high, dry sand above the berm to avoid sudden wave surges as Monastery is a steep beach.)
  • Never turn your back on waves and supervise children at all times.

State Parks will continue monitoring the area to identify the times of greatest public safety need and will staff the area with lifeguards to the best of its ability.

Although Monastery beach and the surrounding area can be very unpredictable, the department is working with allied agencies for emergency response.

Danger! Steep Beach Sign
Graphic illustrating the dangers of a steep beach like Monastery Beach.


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