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City Council jumps off OB Pier with Junior Lifeguards to raise money for kids

City Councilmembers jumped off the OB Pier with Junior Lifeguards to raise money to teach kids to swim on Monday, Aug. 16.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — On Monday, San Diego City Councilmembers came together with the San Diego Junior Lifeguards for the return of the SDJG Ocean Beach Pier Jump. 

City Councilmembers Marni von Wilpert (District 5), Elo Rivera (District 9), and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Colin Stowell jumped off the OB Pier in support of the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego.

All of the proceeds from the event benefit the foundation's efforts to provide SDJG scholarships and free swimming lessons for underserved youth in San Diego. 

City officials expressed that during the fundraiser is the ONLY time jumping from the Ocean Beach Pier is allowed. 

The PDFSD believes drowning is preventable and it is their vision to teach every child in San Diego how to swim. The partnership between the PDFSD and the SD Junior Lifeguards has been ongoing for over 12 years, starting in 2009. 

In 2019, the PDFSD collaborated with school districts to teach 5,121 underserved school children how to swim. 

Children's accessibility to water in San Diego County is high, with 70 miles of coastline, 20 freshwater lakes, 7,466 public permitted bodies of water such as apartment complex swimming pools and many backyard pools. 

Swimming is a life skill that is not easily accessible to all residents in the San Diego community. Formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drownings by 88%. Among children 1-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 79% of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability; this includes 64% of African American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children. 

Sixty Junior Guard Kids sponsored by the PDF gives youths training to have a real employment opportunity to be lifeguards at pools and beaches.

Collaboration has been a key effort between PDFSD, and the City of San Diego's Lifeguard Services and Parks and Recreation. 

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