SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - With San Diegans celebrating the holiday weekend, lifeguards are on high alert. That’s because thousands are expected to flock to local beaches, which could create problems on the water.
“Here it is again it just creeped up on us really fast, Memorial Day, always the unofficial kick off of summer. We’re at full staffing level for this weekend,” explained Sgt. Rick Strobel.
Sgt. Strobel also said that out-of-towners and locals alike need to be careful when they're in the water, especially when it comes to rip currents.
“We do have rip currents out here and you want to know how to avoid them,” continued Sgt. Strobel. “If you do get caught in one it's going to be pulling you out. You don't want to fight against it, don't panic, if you get caught in one just relax and raise your hand. There's a good chance life guards are already on their way.”
They also want to address a new fad that is growing and dangerous - ocean selfies.
“You know they want to take a picture with the waves smashing the rocks in the background. What you don't want to do is turn your back to the ocean,” said Sgt. Strobel. “A few weeks ago a young couple was taking such a picture on the rocks. A big wave came and washed them down into the rocks and they were seriously injured.
Lifeguards also addressed the concern about sharks since north of San Diego they've seen an increase in sightings
“We have a shark policy in place in case,” Sgt. Strobel said. “It's always something we'll be looking for but we're not expecting any problems.”
Lifeguards are completely staffed for the weekend, and they also told CBS News 8 that soon they’ll be ready to hire additional lifeguards. If you’re interested in becoming a lifeguard, click here.