San Diego lifeguards and police are beefing up patrols ahead of an expected spring break rush despite pandemic rules that urge people not to gather in large groups.
Authorities say crowds have been flocking to San Diego beaches since the breakout of the pandemic but spring break paired with the warmer temperatures is expected to attract more people to San Diego in the coming days.
That’s why they’re honing in on safety.
“We’ve seen a lot of vessel accidents, a lot of speeding so we’re here to make sure we have a nice safe spring break,” says San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
Officials says more boats, in general, are packing into the bay so lifeguards and police will be increasing patrols due to make sure people aren’t breaking the rules over spring break.
They have some tips for those who plan to take boats out in the coming weeks.
“Rent from a legitimate brick and mortar business here on Mission Bay. Don’t drink and boat. If you are under the age of 40 you should have a California boater’s card unless you’re renting here on Mission Bay, then you don’t need that card,” Chief Gartland says.
The usual water safety isn’t the only thing to keep in mind. Chief Gartland says visitors should come in with a plan, wear a mask, and continue to practice social distancing protocols.
San Diego police Lt. Rick Aguilar said the message they’re trying to get out is easy: stay safe.
“We just want to make sure that everyone who comes out here… they’re safe, follow all the safety rules,” Lt. Aguilar says. "Big thing is [to] watch your speed while you're out there... Make sure you have all the safety equipment, you have your life vest.”