Boating and several other water activities are once again allowed in San Diego County, but not without a few guidelines to ensure residents stay safe and healthy.
San Diegans collectively sighed in relief Thursday after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would not enforce a statewide closure of all beaches. The move allowed county officials to give the green light for water activities to return, but they imposed restrictions to keep people safe.
From Friday through Sunday, only South Shores Boat Launching Area in Mission Bay will be open to boaters. To keep crowds low, lifeguards are only allowing those who have a vessel of some sort to enter the area’s parking lot and enter those waters. Once the parking lot is full, visitors will be admitted on a “one in, one out” basis.
Lifeguard Chief James Gartland warns that this method may lead to a line of people.
“We just don’t want too big of a crowd, right? We want to keep the crowds down and give everybody a chance to recreate and to also keep that social distancing,” he told NBC 7. “So, you may see a back-up. You may see a traffic back-up when coming to the boat launch.”
County officials forbid party boats from entering waters and said only members of the same household will be allowed to boat together.
Regardless of the guidelines, eager boaters were still seen Friday morning taking their vessels out for a ride. One Point Loma man said he had been looking forward to returning to the waters.
“I was just really excited to finally get to be outdoors a little bit and to enjoy the outdoors,” Point Loma resident, Michael, said. “I was born and raised here and I grew up in the waters so it’s always good to be able to be out.”