San Diego is synonymous with beaches so in honor of National Beach Safety Week and National Rip Current Awareness Week, we’re shining a spotlight on San Diego Lifeguard Services as well as beach and water safety in San Diego.

Spotlight: San Diego Lifeguard Services

A beautiful sunset, the glistening water-they are both enticing backgrounds for a selfie or group photo. However, they can also be dangerous. Last year, three people died on Sunset Cliffs after attempting selfies too close to the edge of the cliff. Another person was knocked off the Mission Bay jetty by a huge wave after attempting a selfie. Thankfully he survived, after lifeguards were quickly able to dislodge him from a crevice in the rocks.

Whether taking pictures or just enjoying the warm waters this summer, we encourage you to look, listen and be aware of your surroundings.

Last year, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department had the most water rescues (9,475) ever in recorded history. The number of preventative actions-those efforts to deter people from entering dangerous areas-also increased from 340,000 to 390,000.

With more than 17 miles of oceanfront, nine permanent lifeguard stations, and 4,600 acres around Mission Bay Park, the San Diego Lifeguard Service provides year-round rescue support for the City of San Diego. Thankfully they are always fully staffed, but with warmer waters, increased beach activity and stellar wave, there is more risk for injuries and drownings.

Before heading to the beach this summer, heed these beach safety tips:

  • Learn to Swim: This is a critical, lifelong skill that can prevent drowning.
  • Swim Near a Lifeguard: According to Andy Lerum, Lieutenant of Marine Safety, your chances of drowning drop significantly, to less than 1 in 18 million. Be smart and swim near a lifeguard.
  • Swim with a Buddy: Never swim alone, even if you are near a lifeguarded area. If something happens, your buddy can help you or get help for you. Or have someone on shore as a backup, keeping an eye on you.

“Most important this summer, be smart and aware,” says Lerum. “If you’re mindful of signs, swim near a lifeguard and with a buddy, you are ensured a fun and safe time at the beach.”

Calling all Lifeguards!

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is recruiting lifeguards. With warmer waters and higher rates of rescues than ever before, they need you! The Lifeguard I position will open June 16.

Apply online now!
Get more beach safety information here.

Learn: Identify a Rip Current

An alarming 80% of beach rescues are due to rip currents. With our diverse coastline, rip currents are present everywhere-from the breaks in sandbars, near structures, jetties and piers, as well as cliffs that cut out into the water.

Three minutes can save your life!

Watch the National Weather Service’s 3-minute video to learn how to identify rip currents and escape them before you jump into the water this summer.

Save The Date
San Diego Fire Rescue 5K & Kids Run
(+Fire Safety Expo)
Sat., Oct. 7th
Embarcadero Marina Park South
We hope you’ll join the Foundation, in partnership with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and SDG&E as we launch Fire Prevention Week with the 2nd Annual San Diego Fire Rescue 5K & Kids Run (+Fire Safety Expo).

New this year:

*More prizes
*VIP parking option
*Complimentary pancake breakfast (with firefighters) included with your race registration

2017 Service Awards Honoree Luncheon
Fri., Oct. 20th
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
Hosted by the Foundation, this luncheon will honor the men and women of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and AMR’s Rural/Metro, who put their lives on the line every day to protect our community. In addition, we will be recognizing ordinary citizens who have done extraordinary things to help others in their time of need. We hope you’ll join us for this heartwarming event.

For information about sponsorship and underwriting opportunities please contact Wendy Robinson at 619.410.4742 or

As we head into summer beach weather and wildfire season, we’d like to urge you to consider making a special gift to the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, a gift that will allow our lifeguards, firefighters, and paramedics to better provide for you, your family, and our San Diego community.


You are a partner in making San Diego safer for its citizens and their families. Please take a moment now to invest in public safety for our community with a gift of support.