OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Oceanside’s lifeguards have placed QR codes on every lifeguard tower to alert beachgoers of current conditions.
When beachgoers scan the QR code, they are taken to a website that shows them the current weather conditions, the water temperature, the height of the current surf, which lifeguard towers are open or closed, any safety alerts including if there are water quality alerts, stingray sightings, and more features.
“Information is power, we have a lot of visitors here, a lot of tourists that aren’t familiar with the way that our beaches work,” City of Oceanside Lifeguard Sgt. Jonathan Chesner said.
The information is all updated in real time and automatic. The QR code provides a direct link to safebeachday.com – which houses the information.
“That provides a real-time interface to the public that lets them know if we are getting significant rescue activity at a certain tower, if our towers are staffed, what time they started being staffed at, increased sting rays,” Chesner added.
He said this is especially helpful in an area like Oceanside, which sees a lot of visitors, and not everyone may be aware of certain conditions in the water, including a strong riptide.
“People with families, with kids they want to swim in front of lifeguard towers, lets them know hey, this is a good spot to swim, it’s a bad spot, it also talks about things like the weather, the water temp, our tides, all the things that are useful for a good beach day,” Chesner said. “Oceanside is a very active beach, we get a lot of surf, we get a lot of tourists, we have jetties and piers, we’ve got a harbor, there’s a lot of things going on, so to be able to have that information at your fingertips before you show up is extremely helpful.”