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Lifeguards, police out in full force July Fourth weekend

SAN DIEGO – San Diego lifeguards and police are out in full force this July Fourth weekend and remind beachgoers and boaters to be smart.

Authorities are expecting high crowds leading up to the Fourth of July and say alcohol can quickly ruin plans.

“Don’t have too much fun or they’ll catch you,” said Chris Pruden, who was visiting the beach with no alcohol after being issued a $380 ticket for alcohol at Mission Bay last weekend.

“If you’re a knuckle-head, there is zero tolerance for that kind of stuff,” said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rick Romero.

With mobile command centers up and down the beaches, police will be working with lifeguards to keep the beaches safe and alcohol-free.

“People try to sneak it and they will get caught,” said Lt. Romero.

If you’re out in the water boating with alcohol on board, you better not be the operator. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol use is the No. 1 factor in fatal boating accidents.

Lifeguards also say if you own jet skis, even if you are not driving one and haven’t been drinking, you need to be careful of who you lend them to.

“If you are in charge of a jet ski in Mission Bay and you’re going to let people use it, ride it, make sure they are over 16. That’s the rule. And make sure they are not drinking alcohol. You don’t want to ruin someone’s weekend for something really dumb,” said Lt. Romero.

Some beachgoers are also doing their part to stay safe by keeping little ones close, drinking plenty of water and being well-prepared for the sun.

“We’ll probably head out early just to avoid any of the potential riffraff that kind of comes along with the beach and the holiday weekend,” said Kristi Laughlin.

On the Fourth of July, lifeguards will double up on their numbers with two lifeguards at each tower.