City News Service
The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously approved a contract with UCSD for the city to resume full-time lifeguard services at Black's Beach, using money donated by the school.
The services were reduced last year as part of budget cuts by the deficit-strapped city, with lifeguards on station only during the summer.
Under the contract, UCSD will pay the city $502,000 to resume year-round lifeguard services over the next year, with an option for two one-year extensions.
According to lifeguard Chief Rick Wurts, the closest lifeguards to Black's Beach currently are at La Jolla Shores, with a response time of about eight minutes.
The money will pay for the promotion of four seasonal lifeguards to full-time status, who will go back to hourly employment if UCSD — which has a lot of students who use the beach — is unable to renew the deal, he said.
Under the terms of the deal, two lifeguards will staff the beach until mid-June. Six lifeguards will patrol the area during the summer and UCSD's spring break, which starts next week.
"There are going to be a lot of visitors and a lot of surfing over the next couple of weeks,'' said Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who represents the area.
Wurts said the beach is not just popular with surfers and swimmers, but people like to try and climb up and down the cliffs, and sometimes need to be rescued.