The city of Carlsbad is spending an estimated $3.4 million on improvements along the city’s one-mile of beach.
Improvements include two new portable lifeguard towers that were hand built by Carlsbad firefighters.
“It’s a classic fire department story of ‘give us a job, and we’ll find a way to get it done,’” said Carlsbad Fire Department Captain Nate Pearson.
Until last year, the city of Carlsbad did not have lifeguards patrolling its coastline, which is cut off by the Carlsbad State Beach to the south and Oceanside to the north. But serious safety concerns forced the city to take action.
“In 2016, we recorded seven non-fatal drownings and one fatal drowning on this piece of beach, which led to community outcry and a response from our local government to provide lifeguard services down here,” Captain Pearson said.
In 2017, the city hired four seasonal lifeguards. Last year, they worked between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays. Pearson says this year, they may stay on until the end of September.
Last year, the lifeguards created large sand towers to patrol the waters. This year, Carlsbad Firefighters used a design plan created in Newport Beach and hand built two wooden towers. They were brought to the beach May 18. The plan is to remove them from the beach and store the towers during the off-season.
Meanwhile, the city has budgeted more than $3 million to improve seven beach access points. The improvements include new stairwells, railings, bike racks, trash bins and lighting. Currently, three of the access points are complete and the other four are scheduled to be finished by next beach season.
Upgraded access points can be found right now at the foot of Carlsbad Village Drive, Rue De Chateaux and Beech Avenue.