july 4th

Rules to Follow at San Diego Beaches July 4th Weekend

The first piece of advice: Get to the beach early. Also: Have a plan, be prepared and pack your patience

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The July 4th weekend is traditionally the biggest and busiest holiday at San Diego beaches. There are many do's and dont's.

"There's no alcohol, no fires outside city-designated fire rings, no camping on the beach,” San Diego Police Capt. Scott Wahl said. “We will be enforcing parking-lot hours and closing Fiesta Island every night."

Police are working hand-in-hand with lifeguards to keep people safe.

“We have all hands on deck,” said Marine Safety Capt. Maureen Hodges from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's lifeguard division.

The best advice is to arrive early, since the parking lots are expected to be full by mid-day. Also: Check in with lifeguards so they can advise you of the conditions, and listen to lifeguards throughout the day, since conditions may change.

Hodges said that rip currents are the No. 1 reason lifeguards make rescues.  He added that if you get caught in a rip current, don't panic, wave your arms and yell for help.  If you can swim, she said, do not try to swim against the current.

“You want to make sure you're not swimming against the current, trying to get straight into the beach, but you want to get out of that rip current by either swimming the left or the right," Hodges said.

If you get separated from your family for any reason, have a pre-arranged plan to meet at a certain location.

"Find a marker in the area ... a meeting spot, whether it’s a lifeguard tower with a number on the side or a building, or a fixture that is identifiable up and down the beaches," Wahl said.

It's going to be busy, so be prepared and pack your patience.

“We’re very happy to have our beaches open again this summer, and we want to make sure we have a very fun and safe fourth of July for everybody," Wahl said.

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