The Fourth of July holiday weekend is here and we can expect big crowds at San Diego beaches and parks.
With about 40 miles of coastline, there’s plenty of surf, sun and sand for people to enjoy. San Diego Lifeguards will have a watchful eye on the water, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
“Rip currents are our number one reason for rescues out there in the ocean,” says Capt. Maureen Hodges, San Diego Fire-Rescue Lifeguard Division.
If you’re caught in a rip current, don’t swim against the current. Instead, swim sideways or parallel to the beach, which can give you an opportunity to swim out of the current.
“If you’re out here with your children, make sure that when you show up to the beach you have a reunification plan,” said Capt. Hodges. “We tend to have a lot of lost children, especially on busy weekends.”
Capt. Hodges said identifying landmarks such as lifeguard tower numbers can help children find their way back, but remind them they can ask for help from any lifeguard, police officer, parks and recreation employee or firefighter.
And for those getting out on the water in boats or other watercraft, Capt. Hodges says all vessels should have a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket for every person on board and all operators should poses a California Boater Card.
San Diego Police Department’s Beach Team will also be out in full force patrolling the boardwalks and nearby areas to ensure everyone is following the rules.
“There’s no drinking on the beach, there’s no smoking, no glass,” says Lt. Adam Sharkey of the San Diego Police Department. “Parking is going to be impacted, so people need to have a plan if they’re gonna come down here.”
Lt. Sharkey said carpooling or using a rideshare service is best. He also asked residents and visitors to bring their patience as officers attempt to keep traffic moving in the beach communities throughout the busy weekend.
Rules and regulations are posted at every San Diego beach and park. Officers are encouraging folks to familiarize themselves with these regulations, especially parking lot hours, which can vary from location to location. Overnight camping, sleeping and parking is not permitted at San Diego beaches and parks.
If you see something dangerous or unlawful happening, contact a police officer or lifeguard so they can address the situation and ensure public safety.