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Lifeguards say heat brings extra dangers to San Diego beaches this weekend

Crowds, heat-related illness could be problems
Posted at 12:13 PM, Aug 14, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- With temperatures expected to soar into the 80s and 90s along San Diego's coast this weekend, lifeguards say they'll be extra vigilant at beaches and bays.

"We still want people to come and enjoy the beach," said San Diego Lifeguards Lt. Rich Stropky. "But come talk to us first; We will describe the do's and don'ts and any safety issues."

In addition to the usual rip currents and stingrays, lifeguards say people need to be careful about over-exertion and heat-related illness like heat stroke or dehydration.

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"Especially if you're at a beach like Torrey Pines, where you have to hike in or hike out," said Stropky. "So, bring lots of water. Hydrate often, not just when you're thirsty. And then stay cool, get some shade and make sure that sunscreen's on."

Lifeguards also say they expect big crowds, which means swimmers and boaters will have to share the water.

Tragedy struck last weekend when a Jet Ski and boat collided, killing one person. Stropky said everyone needs to have a heightened sense of awareness and keep their head on a swivel.

"It's very very dangerous," he said. "We've had several accidents. There's no reason for these things to be happening, except for lack of awareness."

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At boat and Jet Ski rental companies, like Action Sport Rentals on Mission Bay, staff are putting extra emphasis on safety as they send people onto the water.

Action Sport Rental has people fill out safety forms, watch a video produced by the San Diego Police Department, and go through one-on-one safety training before they get on the boat.

"Most of the time, for people out on the bay, it's very hectic," said Action Sports Rentals Manager Alexes Pelzer. "Just make sure to learn the rules of the bay and look out for things floating in the water."

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And while the air temperature could be too hot, Stropky warns the water temperature is still very cold. Measurements this week have been in the low to mid-60s, and he said anyone who has a wet suit should wear it in the water.