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Proposed cuts in lifeguard staffing would make beaches unsafe, critics say

Spectators watch waves crashing onto Corona Del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach. It's not very likely that a lifeguard will spot someone swept to sea by a rip current in the middle of the winter. That's when guards operate with a stripped-down workforce and can only patrol some parts of the city's beaches once a day.

If Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff's budget proposal is passed, the odds of rescue will be even longer.

By cutting full-time staff during the off-season, Kiff said he believes Newport Beach can save money while still meeting its public-safety obligations. The guards disagree. They say they won't be able to keep the beaches safe enough and that tourism could ultimately suffer as a result.

Brent Jacobsen, president of the Lifeguard Management Assn., said the cuts would leave just a few guards to respond to emergencies on any given day during the off-season, from the end of October until the beginning of March.

"It's simply not enough to run an operation like that," he said. "It's just not safe."

Read the full story here.

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-- Mike Reicher, Daily Pilot / Times Community News

Photo: Spectators watch waves crashing onto Corona Del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach. Credit: Cristine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (4)

There is no need for lifeguards. People should use the ocean at their own risk AND assume all responsibility for themselves. Can't swim? GET LOST!

no problem; close the beaches or charge admission.

The lifeguards disagree with this? Really?? No duh!!!

Do we really even need lifeguards? If you can't swim, stay out of the ocean! All you lifeguards that don't like it? Maybe you should go find yourselves a REAL job!

Swim at your own risk...

I believe today's life guard will soon go the way of the dinosaur...

Don't get me wrong, Life Guards seem like decent people...It just isn't cost effective...


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