Junior lifeguards jump off OB pier

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OCEAN BEACH, Calif. – San Diego Lifeguards celebrated 100 years of service with this year’s “Junior Lifeguard Pier Jump” in Ocean Beach.

More than 600 kids participated in the event by jumping off a 30-foot pier.

The jump is part of a four-week training program where the kids learn ocean safety as well as  confidence building skills.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 6.55.27 PMThey do all kinds of really cool stuff,” said Corey McClelland, CEO of the Junior Lifeguard Foundation. “They are in the bay, they do surfing, boogey boarding, they learn about rip currents, first aide and how to be safe at the beach.”

“I think it would be incredible to save somebody’s life,” said Max Wehsener, a junior lifeguard.

Max admitted that he is jumping for his brother who couldn’t be at the event due to a recent swimming accident.

“We were playing in the kelp and a big wave came, lifted up the kelp and just buried us,” said Max. “That was probably the scariest thing in my life and to be here now is just incredible.”

According to foundation officials, conquering the fear of water is a large part of the training program.

The official pier jump is the only time jumping off the pier is allowed.

For a $75 donation toward the Junior Lifeguard Foundation, parents as well as the public got the chance to experience the jump with the kids.

“The water safety it brings to the community is awesome. I do it to support my kids and their safety but it’s a good bilateral cause,” said John Ellis, the parent of a junior lifeguard.

The kids who made the jump will receive a certificate and will formally graduate the program later in the week.

The next jump is scheduled for August 11 where Mayor Kevin Faulkner and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman will also jump.