Junior Lifeguards, whose ages range from 7 to 17, learn a wide variety of skills during the four-week program, such as: how to enjoy the beach safely; ocean and wave education; area familiarity; first aid and CPR; water rescue techniques; and the importance of keeping physically fit. They also prepared to take a large leap in life.
On Monday, Aug. 13, members of the Junior Lifeguards, their parents, and curious residents filled the OB Pier to watch and participate in the annual jump. For a fee, family members and residents may also jump along with the Junior Lifeguards.
With the commands of “Step to the edge, check to make sure it’s all clear, fins up, look straight out at the beach, now jump,” dozens of red-and-yellow-suited Junior Lifeguards stepped off the pier and plunged 30 feet to the ocean.
“Monday, we celebrated this important milestone with our Junior Lifeguards as well as continuing our efforts in helping other children in San Diego who may not have the opportunity to learn how to swim,” said Buc Buchanan, president of the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego.
“SDJG Pier Jump is one of our biggest fundraising events each year benefiting our local foundation. This summer is especially important for us with the recent foundation name change and rebrand to better reflect our vision to teach every child in San Diego how to swim,” Buchanan said.
Over the past 24-plus years, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Lifeguard Service has successfully managed more than 24,000 Junior Lifeguards jumping into the water off Ocean Beach Pier. For more information, visit preventdrowningfoundation.org.
Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego formerly known as the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation, believes drowning is preventable and it is their vision to teach every child in San Diego how to swim. Since 2009, their purpose has been simple, do everything to prevent drowning and save lives of children by targeting under-served communities that need swim lessons and aquatic water and ocean safety education. With local school, community and aquatic partners, they have impacted tens of thousands of young people in San Diego County and made their lives safer and more enjoyable.