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Lifeguards, police expect big crowds at San Diego beaches on Fourth of July

Posted at 12:25 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 15:25:07-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The Fourth of July weekend has always kept San Diego police and lifeguards busy at area beaches in previous years, but they are expecting even more crowds this year with this being the first big holiday since the elimination of most COVID-19 restrictions.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Lifeguard Division Chief James Gartland said, “We’re all hands on deck with the lifeguards. We’ve been training and preparing; this is our busiest weekend of the year.”

The last few weeks have been proof of that, as more people are starting to go out. Last weekend, in Ocean Beach, the parking lots were full and the street spots near the beach were taken.

Officials believe this weekend will be even busier, and they are reminding people alcohol and glass containers are not allowed on beaches. Bonfires are only allowed in designated fire pits.

Officials also want beachgoers to be mindful of the rules while out in the water.

San Diego Police Capt. Scott Wahl said, “If you're operating watercraft, jet ski or boat, make sure that you aren't consuming alcohol. You can get a DUI out in the water just the same way you can driving on our streets."

Lifeguards are advising people to play it safe when heading into the ocean.

“You can always check in with lifeguards -- and tell them where you're going and what your plan is, and they'll make sure you're in a good place. If you're not a strong ocean swimmer, wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket,” said Gartland.