SD beaches could be treacherous over holiday weekend

SAN DIEGO - San Diego lifeguards today were gearing up for Fourth of July weekend -- typically the busiest of the year at the beaches and Mission Bay Park -- and offered some tips to keep beachgoers and boaters safe.
 
Lifeguards made 423 rescues over the holiday last year, when more than 1 million people flooded city beaches.
 
This holiday weekend this year also could prove treacherous for swimmers, especially those with little experience. The National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazards Statement, warning about strong rip currents and high surf along south-facing beaches of San Diego and Orange counties north of Solana Beach through Monday evening. Rip currents are typically stronger near jetties, inlets and piers. There will be a three to four foot south swell.
 
Lifeguards stressed that swimmers should be aware of what to do if caught in a rip current: Keep calm and swim parallel to the shore until out of the current, then swim for shore. Beachgoers should obey posted warnings and speak with a lifeguard before swimming.
 
Beachgoers were advised to swim near a lifeguard, to stick with a buddy, to use sunscreen and drink water.
 
Lifeguards urged parents to teach children to swim at an early age, because "learning to swim is the best defense against drowning."
 
Boating can be dangerous for those who are unprepared. Lifeguards urged boat operators to review safety procedures with all passengers and to put children in life jackets.

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