Junior Life Guards Jump Off Pier

Forty-foot jump gives trainees sense of accomplishment

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    Hundred of junior lifeguards jumped off the pier in Ocean Beach on Wednesday as part of a training exercise

    Hundreds of Junior Lifeguards jumped off the Ocean Beach Pier Wednesday morning as part of a training exercise.

    The tide was low at 9 a.m. when the kids and teens made the jump, so the distance from the pier to the water seemed especially long.

    Junior Lifeguards Splash Off Fear

    [DGO] Junior Lifeguards Splash Off Fear
    About 500 kids jumped about 40 feet off the Ocean Beach Pier on Wednesday as part of a Junior Lifeguard training exercise. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011)

    “When you look at the kids’ faces, you know they’re [jumping] a long way down,” said James Murphy, manager of the San Diego Junior Lifeguards program.

    The junior lifeguards jumped approximately 40 feet into the water as part of a 4-week training program. Junior lifeguards’ ages range from 9 to 17, and must swim 100-yards under a certain amount of time to qualify for their age groups.

    “The kids are out here to conquer fear and jump off the pier,” Murphy said. “We allow for them to prepare for this mentally and physically and then we come out here and have them jump and get that sense of accomplishment.”

    Some parents had the option of jumping with their junior lifeguards. Murphy said many parents told their children they loved them just before jumping.

    “It was very heartwarming.”