Lifeguards anticipate busy holiday weekend in San Diego amid heat wave

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SAN DIEGO — Approaching Labor Day weekend, local officials are anticipating considerable crowds at San Diego-area beaches for the duration along with periods of extreme heat.

“A holiday weekend with the heat wave — it’s the perfect storm for us,” said Marine Safety Lt. Rich Stropky, San Diego lifeguards.

By this time most years, officials are used to crowds slowly dying down as summer vacations end and students return to school. But in the sixth month of a global pandemic which has upended many school calendars as well as the patterns of daily life, lifeguards are preparing for a busy weekend.

“We’re talking about the heat, we’re talking about the hybrid schools,” he said. “There’s a lot more free time. It’s still summer mode it seems like and we are expecting that to move into later on, all the way through September.”

This weekend, lifeguards will be fully staffed at places such as Mission Beach. Officials also are asking that visitors check in with them for safety information on where to swim and which areas to avoid, Stropky said.

With temperatures expected to reach triple digits, lifeguards are reminding people to prepare with items such as water and sunscreen. Beachgoers are expected to see plenty of patrols by local police for compliance with basic beach rules and COVID-19 safety protocols.

Lifeguards are required to wear their masks out on the beach and they’re asking visitors to keep masks handy for whenever social distancing isn’t possible, Stropky said.

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