Pilot Program: Lifeguards patrol previously unprotected beach - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pilot Program: Lifeguards patrol previously unprotected beach

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CARLSBAD (NEWS 8) - Lifeguards are now on the job on a previously unguarded stretch of beach in North Carlsbad. 

Starting Friday, the City of Carlsbad will provide lifeguard services on a three-quarters of a mile stretch of previously unguarded beach north of Oak Avenue as part of a pilot program that will run through Labor Day. 

The city budgeted $300,000 to also increase police patrols in the area to help ensure beachgoers stay safe and follow the law.

According to Fire Chief Mike Davis, as of this week 17 City of Carlsbad firefighter/paramedics have been certified in ocean water rescue. 

"it's a great feeling to provide that service for the community - have people come down here and enjoy the beach," said Eric Brown, Carlsbad Lifeguard. 

The city is in the process of hiring about two dozen part time seasonal lifeguards to round out the team.

Since the program is being implemented on a trial basis, no lifeguard towers will be built for the summer season. 

Lifeguards will utilize a four-wheel drive truck to patrol the beach and will station themselves on the shore at three locations, based on ocean conditions and crowds.

Unlike other beach areas in Carlsbad, the beach from Oak Avenue to the city's northern border is not managed by California State Parks Department and therefore has limited services.

The fire department will report how the pilot grogram did at the end of the summer in hopes of having a long term marine safety unit. 

Lifeguards will begin patrolling in shifts daily from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., or as conditions warrant, through the Labor Day.

Officials remind the public that if someone is in trouble in the water, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, call 9-1-1.

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