UC San Diego renews contract for full-time lifeguard at Black's Beach

City News Service

UC San Diego will renew its contract with the city of San Diego to keep a full-time lifeguard presence at Black's Beach, which is used by many students, the school announced today.

The La Jolla-based university chips in cash to help fund the lifeguard service, which has suffered budget cutbacks over the years, staff a sometimes dangerous stretch of shoreline.

The amount of money UC San Diego will pay was not disclosed.

Last year, the school paid $502,000 to staff the beach with six full- time lifeguards during spring break and the summer, and two full-time lifeguards at other times.

"Lifeguarding on Black's Beach directly impacts UC San Diego due to the number of students and faculty that visit the beach year-round," said Gary Matthews, the school's vice chancellor of resource management and planning. "Plus, the beach and surrounding cliffs are in part owned by UC San Diego."

Since the deal between the city and the school began last March, lifeguards at Black's Beach have made 67 water rescues, performed 360 minor medical aids and helped 17 people whose conditions were serious enough to warrant going to a hospital -- many of them UCSD students, according to the university.

The cliffs running from the campus to the sand are unstable and difficult to negotiate, requiring occasional rescues. The shoreline in the area is subject to frequent strong rip currents.

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