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San Diego Lifeguards add more patrols for holiday weekend

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Posted at 3:40 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 20:33:32-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Lifeguards are gearing up for a busy holiday weekend at our beaches. High surf and warm weather brought crowds to the coast on Friday.

“We’re staffed up, our equipment is in good shape, and we’re ready to keep our city beaches safe,” said San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland.

He says they’re adding more patrols on land and in the water. They’ve had an active winter with more people getting outside during the pandemic.

“The beaches have stayed busy due to COVID-19,” said Gartland. “We’ve had a lot of water rescues. It’s been a really good end of December and the beginning of January has been really good for surf activity. We’ve done a lot of surf-related rescues.”

But it’s not just surfers and swimmers who need to be careful. Earlier this week, the same swells that shattered planks at the Ocean Beach Pier swept one woman off her feet.

“The last several swells we’ve had people just walking around on the cliffs or on the shoreline and a large set comes through, catches people, and sweeps them out,” said Gartland. “When you’re walking, if the area is wet that means the surf is up there.”

Lifeguards say their increased staffing will stick around until the Beach Hazards Statement expires on Tuesday.