SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Summer is upon us and San Diego lifeguards on Friday said they are ready for it.
The warm temperatures are bringing the crowds to the coast, and with dangers like rip currents and stingrays, Friday marked the first day lifeguards were fully staffed at San Diego beaches.
From Blacks Beach to Sunset Cliffs, there will be 300 lifeguards on the lookout this summer season. “It’s summertime. We are here to help everyone out,” said Lt. Rick Romero, San Diego Fire and Rescue Lifeguards.
On average, lifeguards make about 20 rescues a day. This week included several water rescues thanks to the high surf created by two hurricanes in the Pacific off Mexico’s coast. “We had a good swell last week so it turned up the sand a bit, and we have a constant rip currents here every single day,” said Lt. Romero.
Lifeguards remind swimmers that if they are caught in a rip current to remain calm and try to swim parallel to the shore or call or wave for help. Warmer water temperatures, 67 to 69 degrees, is helping bring out stingrays close to shore. “I just got back from a swim and they are coming in a little bit closer with the warmer water. They are out there so you want to shuffle your feet,” said Lt. Romero.
Swimmers are advised to use the numbered lifeguard closest to them as a reference point when out in the water.
Beachgoers are reminded that it is illegal to drink alcohol and smoke at the beach. The San Diego Police beach team will also be on high alert for the summer.
This will be the third summer to have lifeguards positioned in Sunset Cliffs and Santa Cruz Beach, which will help execute quicker cliff rescues.