They jumped together with friends and family to conquer their fear and to raise money for the Drowning Prevention Foundation of San Diego (formerly the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation), which helps fund the Junior Lifeguard Program and promotes drowning prevention and aquatic safety education.
“It is a big, fun event where the kids can come out and conquer their fear of jumping off the pier,” said lifeguard Dana Nielsen.
The pier jump is one of the major goals for the Junior Lifeguards’ participants, and the two pier jump days (the first session takes place in mid-July) are the only days where it is legal for people to leap off the pier.
“It is a family and community event,” said Nielsen.
San Diego Junior Lifeguard Program offers two four-week sessions every summer for 7 to 17 year olds. The Junior Lifeguards are taught first aid, CPR, ocean and wave education, beach safety and water rescue techniques.
In addition, they learn swimming skills, body surfing, body boarding, surfing, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Before the kids and teens participate in the program they have to pass a swimming test.
“The goal is to water proof San Diego. We want to make sure that every kid gets the opportunity to learn how to swim since we are an ocean and beach community,” said Nielsen.
Besides helping to fund the Junior Lifeguard Program, the Drowning Prevention Foundation of San Diego helps funding swim lessons for intercity schools and intercity groups.