By Dave Schwab
City and UCSD officials teamed up with lifeguards Monday to announce restoration of lifeguard services at Black’s Beach in La Jolla.
“Our highest priority is to provide for the safety of our citizens and visitors,” said First District Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who adding lifeguard service is to be restored March 14. “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.”
“We understand the need to collaborate, to help each other,” said Gary Matthews, UCSD vice chancellor for resource management and planning, noting the city and university are both suffering budget crises. “Our staff, faculty and students use this beach on a routine basis. However, it’s one of the most dangerous beaches in the city of San Diego. We feel it’s extremely important that we participate by ensuring lifeguard services are here.”
Matthews cited “supporting safety and the value of one life” to justify why the university is contributing to lifeguard funding for Black’s at a time when university budgets are being cut and student fees are going up.
Praising UCSD and Lightner for their collaborative efforts, San Diego Lifeguard Chief Rick Wurts said the city “is excited to be able to put lifeguards back up at this beach.”
Noting Black’s has very strong ocean conditions and some of the best surf anywhere, Wurts said, “Not only are we involved in rescues when we’re up here, but what we do with regard to preventative action is really the most important job that we do. If we can get to an incident that’s developing and keep it from becoming a critical situation … It’s going to be a very positive thing having lifeguards back up here patrolling the beach.”