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Signs will enforce kayak launch ban near Marine Room

San Diego lifeguards say they plan to post signs soon reinforcing an existing kayak ban in an area near the Marine Room in La Jolla Shores where a swimmer was injured in a collision with a kayak.

“The purpose of the signs is simply to remind people of the already existing law that you can’t launch or land boats or kayaks from any swim area,” said Lifeguard Capt. Rick Wurts. “The only place where you can is from the boat launch.”

The area to be marked with signs will extend from the foot of Roseland Drive north past the main lifeguard tower, all of which is a swim area.

Wurts said lifeguards are negotiating with the city’s Parks Department to come up with wording and a timetable for putting in the new kayak warning signs. He added lifeguards also plan to increase patrols at the end of the beach where the new signs will be to warn kayakers who’ve been launching from the off-limits swim area in increasingly greater numbers.

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“We’ve had an increase in the number of incidents in that area that is causing us to come up with a more detailed strategy for dealing with the phenomenon,” Wurts said.

In light of the increasing popularity of kayaking at the Shores where the city’s only oceanfront launch ramp exists, city officials have been working with kayak operators to figure out a way to limit the number of group tours and individual kayak rentals allowed on busy summer weekends.

They are in the midst of a proposal process with a deadline on Nov. 14 for operators to submit applications for a bid process to get a shot at the 54 weekend time slots the city plans to grant.

The latest move of posting the signs is in part a reaction to an incident on July 31 near the Marine Room when Rancho Santa Fe resident Leslie Freedle-Boren, who works in La Jolla, was hurt.

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“My son and I were about 20 feet apart and this kayak came in between us and hit me in the face as I was swimming, knocking two of my teeth out and shoving three of my top teeth through my bottom lip,” Freedle-Boren told The Light.