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National Beach Safety Week (May 22-29)

National Beach Safety Week
By Bill Humphreys
As the Memorial Day holiday approaches signaling to many beachgoers the unofficial start of summer, millions will soon flock to our local beaches. In an effort to assist beachgoers to have a safe day at the beach, the California Surf Lifesaving Association (CSLSA) participates in National Beach Safety Week from May 22-29, 2023. 
Our oceans and lakes can be a wonderful recreational resource. A national awareness week can remind us of both the joys and hazards of one of the most unpredictable forces in nature: the ocean. 
The dangers of the aquatic environment are mitigated by our professional lifeguards who tirelessly serve our communities in an effort to reduce the number of accidents at our beaches. Thousands of lives are saved annually by CSLSA-affiliated lifeguards. But we cannot do it alone.
In addition to our lifeguards advising beachgoers that our oceans can sometimes be treacherous, our CSLSA lifeguards have many outreach programs:
We partner with Hoag Hospital Project Wipeout to educate young beachgoers regarding the potential dangers that exist at our beaches and other open bodies of water, and the types of injuries that can occur.
Our “Talk To A Lifeguard” effort encourages beachgoers to make contact with the on-duty lifeguard who is the best resource for current ocean conditions. 
Also, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation provides skin-cancer awareness to our CSLSA affiliated junior lifeguard programs this summer, educating more than 20,000 participants in prevention and recognition. 
Our SoCal Paddledown for Cancer Relay “Block The Blaze” initiative engages lifeguard agencies from Northern California to the Mexico border to help bring the skin cancer awareness message to each jurisdiction.  
And our CSLSA Regional Lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard Championships, on July 21and 22 in Newport Beach, will test the lifesaving skills of hundreds of professional ocean lifeguards and junior lifeguards in a highly competitive environment. 
Our proposed Specialized License Plate, with its water safety message “Always Swim Near A Lifeguard,” is being considered for production by legislators in Sacramento. 
As summer is a time for celebrating the end of a school year and spending time with friends and family, while enjoying one of greatest natural resources our state has to offer, staying safe should always be top of mind. 
Beachgoers can have a safe and memorable summer by following these CSLSA suggestions.


·      Always Swim Near A Lifeguard
·      Never Swim Alone
·      Swim Sober
·      Don't Dive Head First, Protect Your Neck
·      Know Your Limitations. When In Doubt; Don’t Go Out
·      Don't Fight The Current – "Break The Grip of the Rip!”     
       Stay calm and swim parallel to the shore.
Following these suggestions can help ensure that your time on the sand will be a safe day at the beach.
Bill Humphreys is the President of the CSLSA, a non-profit professional organization whose mission is to promote beach safety awareness and professional open-water lifesaving standards.