San Diego

All San Diego beach parking lots and Fiesta Island at capacity on Fourth of July, lifeguards warn of rip currents

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San Diego police are urging beachgoers to pack their patience because all beach parking lots had reached capacity by noon on the Fourth of July.

The department added that cars were no longer allowed to enter Fiesta Island and that vehicles that leave the island will not be able to come back.

Since San Diego beaches are packed, here’s what to watch out for: getting too close to wildlife and the threat for rip currents.               

If you are heading to the beach on Thursday, keep in mind the rip current risk will be HIGH. Be very careful and always swim near lifeguards.

If you are ever caught in a rip current, never fight it! You won't be able to outswim it. Let it take you out, as scary as that may seem, and start swimming parallel to the shoreline. Once you are out of the current, swim back to shore. The National Weather Service San Diego has more tips on how to "break the grip of the rip:"

“Fourth of July weekend is what we call the Super Bowl of lifeguarding, so it’s the most people that come to the beach, the most crowded,” Jacob Magness with San Diego Lifeguard said.

People from all around the world come to San Diego every year to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. With more people in town, lifeguards are asking you to be extra vigilant of rip currents to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

“If you’re not a frequent ocean swimmer and not comfortable with the environment, lifeguards recommend that you stay waist deep with your feet a the bottom at all times,” Magness said.

If you cannot escape, float, or tread water. If you need help wave for assistance. Here are more tips on how to avoid getting caught in a rip current.

San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Jacob Magness says the Fourth of July weekend is the "Super Bowl of lifeguarding." If you're headed to San Diego's beaches for the holiday weekend, NBC 7's Jeanette Quezada explains some safety tips to keep in mind.

Lifeguards also recommend planning ahead to make sure you and your family stay safe.

“A lot of the lifeguard towers on the beach have numbers, so that’s a great way to talk about it with your children and say hey, you know we’re swimming at tower 14 and if we get separated just go to that tower and we’ll find each other,” Magness said.  

If you’re not sure about the rip current conditions, walk up to a tower and ask a lifeguard.

“Any lifeguard will direct you to the right spot,” Magness said.  

If you’re planning on visiting La Jolla Cove, rangers are recommending keeping a 100 feet distance from the seals and sea lions.

“It’s really, really, really important that people just stay away because if they’re angry, they’re moody, they can lash out, they can snap at you, they’re wild animals, you don’t know what they’re going to do, so it’s best to observe them from a safe distance,” Park Ranger, Erik Romero said.

This year La Jolla Cove will not have fireworks to avoid scaring the mother seals and their pups. Instead, a drone show is planned for the area.

Looking ahead to Friday, the City of San Diego is asking everyone to be thoughtful and clean up shared spaces.

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