San Diego Lifeguard Service has new rescue and recovery tools with the donation of two Piranha P1 Scooters by the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation. The underwater scooters will allow divers and dive rescue specialists to conserve energy and spend more time in the water before surfacing to rest or change SCUBA tanks.

San Diego Lifeguards are renowned and respected for the professionalism and expertise they exhibit day in and day out with up to 10,000 annual rescues on 24 miles of ocean beaches, from Black’s Beach to Ocean Beach, and 17 miles of Mission Bay shoreline. What you may not realize is that the lifeguards also respond to underwater search, rescue and recovery calls at nine lakes as much as 45 miles outside the city limits.

These calls require the special skills of the lifeguard divers. If there is a suspected drowning, the San Diego Lifeguard dive rescue specialists and advanced divers respond as quickly as possible and search well beyond the area where the person was last seen. They work as a team, searching in precise patterns. Swimming against a current or at a depth requires strength and determination. Without special equipment, they can quickly expend the compressed air in their SCUBA tanks and exhaust themselves. It is an operation, like so many in public safety, where time is of the essence.

That’s where the Piranha P1 “Dive Scooter” can make an enormous difference. The lightweight, propeller-driven scooter can pull a diver faster and farther than they can swim alone. With a handle on top and a strap that goes around the diver’s waist, the battery-operated scooter lets the divers conserve their strength and spend more time in the water before replacing their SCUBA tanks. The P1 weighs just 25 pounds and can cover nearly three and a half miles at cruising speed. It will run for two and a half hours on a single set of batteries.

Whether it is a lake in the county or an unguarded section of the beach, the objective is the same; locate and recover the victim as quickly as possible. The Piranha P1 Scooter can take a giant step toward that end. If it were your loved one, wouldn’t you want to know they had expended every effort?

The Fire Rescue Foundation is committed to purchasing an additional four dive scooters for the lifeguards. At a cost of nearly $18,000, your gift of support, no matter the size, will help us provide this lifesaving equipment so our lifeguards can better provide for you, your family, and the San Diego community.

As we head into the busy summer months, we urge you to take a moment now to help our community and our first responders with a gift of support. You are a partner in making San Diego safer for our residents and visitors. This important work would not be possible without you.