Carlsbad to Provide Extended Lifeguard Services

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The City of Carlsbad will provide lifeguard services on a previously unguarded stretch of beach in the city’s north. The new program was created in response to increased usage and calls for service in the three-quarter-mile area from Oak Avenue to the city’s northern border.

Most of Carlsbad’s nearly seven miles of coastline is owned and managed by California State Parks, which provides lifeguards. This part of the coast, referred to as north beach, is not part of the State Parks system and has historically not had lifeguard services.

The city sought proposals from other agencies so the City Council could evaluate different options for providing lifeguard services in the north. State Parks and Orange County Lifeguards provided bids to provide the service. The City Council opted to keep the program with city staff, which created a pilot lifeguard program in 2017.

The city’s lifeguards will be part of the city’s Fire Department. Two full time positions will be added to supervise the program. During peak beach going times, around May through September, depending on weather conditions, the city will employ about 25 part time lifeguards.

In addition to lifeguard staffing, the approved program includes three small scale wooden lifeguard towers, two lifeguard trucks and one personal watercraft to patrol in the water as needed.

The annual cost of the three options, after the first year start up, were $404,000 for the State Parks proposal; $575,000 for the Orange County Lifeguards proposal; and $603,000 for the city to provide the service.

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