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San Francisco


San Francisco is known as one of America's most cosmopolitan and beautiful cities in America. Many people love this city by the sea as the well known song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" aptly describes. It is home of the famed Golden Gate Bridge and the most visited park in the area - Alcatraz Island, where notorious gangsters and killers were formerly imprisoned. No one ever escaped from Alcatraz alive because of the cold water and strong tidal currents ripping past the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay. There is only one Pacific beach in the area - Ocean Beach. This beach is never open for swimming because of the tidally-generated currents but mostly because of the very strong rip currents. Every year some tourists jump into the cold water, apparently oblivious to all the hazards.

Ocean Beach is where I take the TV people looking for rip currents to photograph in the wake of a recent drowning elsewhere. The last time, we rented a helicopter and dropped fluorescent orange dye (the same kind used by NASA to mark the space ships that formerly dropped down into the Pacific Ocean) to visually trace these offshore flowing currents. See the Beach Safety section for a further description of these killer currents. I believe Ocean Beach should be renamed Killer Rip Beach; perhaps people would take note and stay out of the water.


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