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Lifeguard Services


  • Water rescue of swimmers, divers and surfers
  • Coastal cliff rescue
  • Boater rescue up to 3 miles off shore
  • Medical aid
    • All full time lifeguards and many hourly lifeguards are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
    • Hourly lifeguards are certified to a minimum of American Red Cross Emergency Response
  • Swiftwater and inland river rescue
  • Scuba rescue and underwater search and recovery
    • Dive Rescue Team members are certified as Advanced Scuba Divers and Dive Rescue Specialists
  • Marine firefighting
    • Lifeguards out of the Boating Safety Unit are fully equipped and trained to operate the Lifeguard Service's two fire boats and to suppress fires
  • Law enforcement of beach regulations through citation, arrest and impound of vessels
    • Most full time lifeguards are classified as peace officers.
    • All San Diego lifeguards are classified as public officers with the power of arrest
  • Harbor patrol functions on Mission Bay and boating enforcement on the Pacific Ocean
  • 24-hour staffing of the Lifeguard Communications Center
    • Includes dispatching incoming 9-1-1 calls, marine radio distress calls, fire and police referrals, etc.
    • Maintains observation of boating traffic traveling in and out of Mission Bay.
    • California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS).