The National Weather Service has issued multiple fog warnings for Hermosa Beach during the past week and when the fog does roll in, the Hermosa Pier's fog horn plays a key role in boater and pier safety.
The fog horn, resting on top of a pole at the end of the pier, would otherwise go unnoticed on a sunny beach day but on a foggy day, the horn can certainly be heard before it can be seen.
According to Hermosa Beach officials, lifeguards stationed on the pier are responsible for tripping the switch when conditions hamper visibility. Originally, the switch was located at the police department at the top of Pier Avenue but was moved to the pier a few years ago.
"We are the ones here," one lifeguard explained. "We notice the conditions faster than anyone else."
On Thursday morning, lifeguards said the fog was so thick, the ocean was not visible from the lifeguard office at the beginning of the pier, prompting the fog horn to be activated.
The fog horn sounds a steady tone for one second every 10 seconds during foggy conditions. Similar horns can also be heard at the Redondo Beach Marina and other locations along the coast.