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CAL FIRE shares water safety tips as lifeguard training begins

Warm weather means packed beaches
Pismo Beach .jpg
Posted at 6:43 PM, Apr 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-21 22:01:37-04

As we start to see warmer days, it is important to know what we can do to help keep ourselves and others safe at the beach.

“I think the most important thing is just to have situational awareness,” Paul Lee, Battalion Chief with CAL FIRE said.

Lifeguards will not be on the Central Coast beaches until around late June and early July; in the meantime, we need to know how to be safe in the sand.

First respondents say that because of all the rain this winter, people should avoid the places at the beach where creeks flow into the ocean.

Beaches have taken a hit. Lee encourages people to wear shoes even while walking on the beach.

First respondents also say to be aware of rip currents that could pull people away from shore.

It is necessary to keep an eye on your younger children at all times.

“Even if they’re on the sand, there are things that they can ingest that aren't the best thing for them. Just paying attention to what’s going on is going to make sure those small kids are safe,” Lee said.

When encountering marine life while swimming, officials advise using your best instincts and avoiding them at all costs.

“Shuffle your feet when we are walking out so you don’t surprise any type of marine life that may be on the bottom of the ocean floor,” Lee said.

When the lifeguards are on duty, do not be afraid to ask for help.

“The most important thing to do is to raise your hand above your head and try to flag somebody down the beach or look towards the lifeguard and they’ll come out and get you,” Lee said.

As of right now there are no active lifeguards on duty, but lifeguard training begins Friday and the lifeguard towers will be fully staffed in late June to early July.