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Summer in San Diego: Boat and Water Safety

On Thursday, San Diego's chief lifeguard joined Mayor Jerry Sanders to emphasize the importance of staying safe on the city's beaches, in the water and on boats. With summer temperatures already here and Memorial Weekend on the way, San Diego expects to see close to 800,000 people on its beaches over the long weekend.

At the news conference, Mayor Sanders gave the usual advice:

  • Don't go swimming alone.
  • Don't go swimming or boating if you have been drinking.

Simple advice, but not always easy to follow, the mayor urged citizens and visitors to stay safe. When hitting the water, it is also important that you are swimming in a safe place. It goes without saying that swimming in an area where boats or jet skis may be driving is not advisable.

For the parents of young children, it is essential to be vigilant and aware of your child's whereabouts at all times. Far too many children have drowned after falling into pools, even shallow ones designed for small children. If you are getting the backyard pool ready for use, make sure that you have a cover in place to protect small children from falling in.

As for those riding in boats, life jackets are a must. According to data collected by the U.S. Coast Guard, 90 percent of those who drowned in recreational boating accidents in 2008 were not wearing life jackets.

That year, 25 individuals drowned in San Diego County.

It is also important that boaters follow safe boating practices.

  • Don't drive too fast, especially if you are in a crowded area.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for other boats, docks and always watch for people who might be in the water.
  • Always wear a life jacket.

Boating accidents will still occur and, like it or not, tend to be a part of summer in San Diego. However, by practicing safety and caution, you can go a long way towards ensuring that they do not happen to you.

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