SAN DIEGO -- The cloudy start to the holiday weekend, dissipated quickly and although it did cause beach crowds to be less than usual San Diego lifeguards have been busy and are expecting an even busier summer season.
“It’s a beautiful day I got some friends here from Chicago “It’s been a blast,” said beachgoer Jake Feuerstein.
“We had to hit the beach while we were here,” said Arizona resident Emily Osborne.
The Memorial Day long weekend is upon us and as the unofficial start to summer and with the popularity of San Diego beaches as a tourist destination San Diego lifeguards are geared up and ready.
“We’re just about at full staff. We have a lot of lifeguards out on the beaches, the weather is turning really nice and it’s looking like a great start to the summer,” said San Diego Lifeguard Sgt. Rick Strobel.
They say despite the cooler weather and smaller crowds, there already been lots to do.
“We’ve already been very busy starting off the weekend. We got a few calls this morning,” said Sgt. Strobel.
Lifeguards say if you’re planning to hit the beach, make sure you’re prepared. Sunscreen, shade, water and water safety are key. They say shuffle your feet, they’ve seen a lot of sting rays, and if you’re not a strong swimmer, be aware of the rip currents like this visitor from Arizona.
“Current can be strong sometimes so I’m watching that,” said Arizona resident Jevin.
Last year, lifeguards performed nearly 9,500 water rescues. They hope people will use common sense near the water and stay safe this upcoming beach season.
Two days ago we had a gentleman show up on vacation from Arizona, he wanted to jump in the water he jumped in right into a rip current got himself in trouble luckily we got to him really quickly but that really illustrates the fact that you need to check in with a lifeguard. Come and talk to us. We want to help you out. We’re here to prevent accidents. We want you to go home at the end of the day having a great experience,” said Sgt. Strobel.
To help in their rescue efforts, this year San Diego County Toyota provided San Diego Lifeguards with 35 new vehicles.
“We’re ready,” said Sgt. Strobel.