Lifeguards To Return To Blacks Beach

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San Diego — Councilmember Sherri Lightner, City of San Diego, Chief Rick Wurts, San Diego Lifeguard Service and Gary C. Matthews, Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning at UC San Diego today announced that lifeguard service will be restored March 14 at Black’s Beach in La Jolla.

“Our highest priority is to provide for the safety of our citizens and visitors. Restoring lifeguards to world-famous Black’s Beach will keep people safe as they surf and swim—the very activities that help make San Diego special,” Lightner said.

A partnership between the City of San Diego and UC San Diego will make the restoration possible. UC San Diego is contributing funding to restore lifeguard services at Black’s Beach.

“Safety is always the number-one priority of UC San Diego, even during tough economic times,” said Matthews. “We strongly believe that this investment in safety is the right thing to do to ensure that vital lifeguard services are provided to students, faculty, staff and area residents and visitors enjoying one of the top surfing beaches in the world.”

Black’s Beach is a popular spot for San Diego surfers, including UC San Diego students catching waves between classes. The City of San Diego and UC Regents each own property adjacent to Black’s Beach. Lightner has held talks with UC San Diego officials since last year about how UC San Diego and the City of San Diego could collaborate to restore lifeguard services. Wurts helped create the arrangement for services with UC San Diego and took UC San Diego officials on a tour last year to demonstrate how the Lifeguard service operates.

“Stationing lifeguards at Black’s Beach will result in a faster response that could very well make the difference between life and death,” Wurts said.

City budget reductions that began on January 1, 2010 resulted in an elimination of lifeguard services from Labor Day through mid-June, and a reduction in lifeguard service during the mid-June through

Labor Day high-season at Black’s Beach. The new arrangement with UC San Diego will restore lifeguard service to previous levels:

• Labor Day through mid-June, two lifeguards will be stationed daily at Black’s Beach.

• Mid-June through Labor Day, as well as during the week of UC San Diego spring break, six lifeguards will be stationed daily at Black’s Beach.
Once approved by Council, service would resume on March 14, in time for UC San Diego’s spring break week, typically a busy time at Black’s Beach.