For 24 Straight Hours, Brazilian Lifeguards Stand Watch03:54
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People take a dip in the sea during the fireworks for the new year on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 2015. (Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)
People take a dip in the sea during the fireworks for the new year on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 2015. (Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Rio de Janeiro's lifeguards face a daunting challenge on New Year's Eve when some two million Brazilians crowd Copacabana beach.

It's tradition to jump into the waves seven times for good luck, but alcohol makes that a tricky proposition, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro says. The lifeguards are tasked with saving lives while also navigating the celebration.

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This segment aired on December 31, 2015.

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