City Council approves contract with UCSD for full-time lifeguard - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

City Council approves contract with UCSD for full-time lifeguards at Black's Beach

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously approved a contract with UC San Diego for the city to resume full-time lifeguard services at Black's Beach, using money donated by the school.

The services were reduced last year as part of budget cuts by the deficit-strapped city, with lifeguards on station only during the summer.

Under the contract, UCSD will pay the city $502,000 to resume year-round lifeguard services over the next year, with an option for two one-year extensions.

According to lifeguard Chief Rick Wurts, the closest lifeguards to Black's Beach currently are at La Jolla Shores, with a response time of about eight minutes.

The money will pay for the promotion of four seasonal lifeguards to full-time status, who will go back to hourly employment if UCSD - which has a lot of students who use the beach - is unable to renew the deal, he said.

Under the terms of the deal, two lifeguards will staff the beach until mid-June. Six lifeguards will patrol the area during the summer and UCSD's spring break, which starts next week.

"There are going to be a lot of visitors and a lot of surfing over the next couple of weeks," said Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who represents the
area.

Wurts said the beach is not just popular with surfers and swimmers, but people like to try and climb up and down the cliffs, and sometimes need to be rescued.

 

THIS IS AN UPDATE TO AN EARLIER STORY BELOW.

 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego will resume lifeguard services at Black's Beach a week from Monday, pending approval by the City Council.

UC San Diego will put up the funding for city lifeguard staff at the cliffside beach, where the city reduced hours last summer -- and eliminated them the rest of the year -- because of budget reductions.

The university has many students who use the beach, and it owns property nearby, according to Gary Matthews, UCSD's vice chancellor for resource management and planning.

"We strongly believe that this investment in safety is the right thing to do to ensure that vital lifeguard services are provided to students, faculty, staff and area residents and visitors enjoying one of the top surfing beaches in the world," Matthews said.

Until mid-June, two lifeguards will be posted at the beach daily. The number will be increased to six daily during the school's spring break and during the summer.

"Stationing lifeguards at Black's Beach will result in a faster response that could very well make the difference between life and death," lifeguard Chief Rick Wurts said.

Wurts and Councilwoman Sherri Lightner had worked on the arrangements with school officials since last year, according to Lightner's office.

The City Council will take up the proposed funding agreement on Tuesday.

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