National Park Service crews were in the right place at the right time Wednesday, when beach patrol units who were staking out a military flare that had washed up on Ocean Beach were able to switch gears and save four teens floundering in the ocean's treacherous currents.

Bay City News reports that the beach crew was called to the northern end of Ocean Beach at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, after they received reports of an armament that likely fell from an offshore military vessel and washed up on our shores.

The NPS patrollers "were maintaining a safe perimeter around the area while they waited for bomb squad technicians to respond," BCN reports, "when they received a report of four teens in distress in the water."

According to NPS spokesperson Alexandra Picavet, the beach patrol "had apparently cautioned the same group of teens earlier in the day." But teens gotta teen, and the kids ("some of whom were from San Francisco and San Bruno," BCN reports) hopped back into the waves, where they got caught in one of Ocean Beach's notorious rip tides.

So, as the San Francisco Police Department bomb squad detonated the flare ("without incident," they say)...

...beach patrol rescued the two boys, who were fine, and the two girls, who were transported to San Francisco General Hospital for observation, Picavet says.

Picavet said that if it weren't for the unexploded flare, crews might not have been on the spot to save the feckless youth.

“It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock over a full-grown adult and, once you’re down, the rip currents can pull you out very quickly,” Picavet warned the Chron.

“Everyone is this situation was extremely lucky to come away healthy and cared for.”