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Public Safety

San Diego Lifeguards and Police Encourage Beach Safety During Busy Holiday Weekend

a lamp post with safety regulation on the sign in front of a beach

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Lifeguard Division and San Diego Police remind residents and visitors of important information regarding beach and bay safety during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. SDFD lifeguards typically see an increase in visitors and activity at Mission Bay, one of the nation’s top destinations for aquatic enthusiasts.

“Lifeguards and police officers patrolling the beaches and Mission Bay want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience,” said Lifeguard Chief James Gartland. “Boaters and passengers should learn safety regulations before operating a vessel and be aware of individuals renting vessels illegally.”

Lifeguards and police have safety recommendations in the hopes that beachgoers will enjoy their time at the beaches and Mission Bay in a responsible way. Beach and bay visitors are reminded to pack patience and be mindful of the increase in traffic along our coast. An increase in vehicular and pedestrian traffic means eyes need to stay on the road and obey all traffic and parking signage.

Also, keep an eye on your children and have a plan in case they get lost. Identify a meeting spot, like a lifeguard tower. Remind them to look for a lifeguard or a police officer to help them find their parents or guardians.

On Mission Bay, remember that those 60 years-of-age and under are now required to carry a California Boater Card to operate a watercraft. If you’ll be renting a watercraft, make sure they are from a licensed vendor. Follow the rules of the bay for a safe and fun day.

In addition, the Clean Beach Coalition – sponsored by Think Blue San Diego and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department – will add 200 extra trash and recycling bins during major holiday weekends this summer to keep beach areas free of trash and debris.

With more than 40 miles of oceanfront and bay shoreline to patrol throughout the city, SDFD lifeguards help keep an average of 17 million visitors safe and conduct an estimated 7,000 rescues at local beaches each year. Additionally, lifeguards manage cliff, scuba and swift water rescues, enforce boating safety regulations and respond to emergencies involving seafaring vessels and other watercraft. San Diego Police has a full-time beach team whose members patrol the sand, boardwalks and Mission Bay.