Del Mar Lifeguards

The new Del Mar Lifeguard Safety Center at 17th Street opened June 27th, 2012. The old tower was replaced with this state-of-the-art center. Captain Pat Vergne gave me a tour of the center recently and the facility is outstanding. Some of the highlights include an infrared system that can identify body heat in the ocean out to 17 miles. Come by and see it for yourself!

Captain Pat Vergne and his staff on the observation deck of the new Safety Center.

For more information on the Del Mar Lifeguards...

Del Mar's lifeguards go way back in my memory of them and the beach as a child. Their near constant presence was reassuring as I learned to bodysurf and ride the waves. I witnessed scores of rescues over the years and they have always earned my respect.

The captain when I was young was Gardener Stevenson, and he ruled his department with an iron fist. But my fondest memories are when I was in the Jr. Lifeguard program. There I learned how to spot rip currents, basic lifesaving and rescue techniques, and CPR. It began my love - and respect - of the ocean, which lives to this day.

Del Mar Junior Lifeguards Signups

Here's information on the Junior Lifeguards Program...

Sample Junior Lifeguard Curriculum

* Recognition of safe vs. dangerous areas to swim, surf or body board * Rip currents and how to recognize and navigate if need be * Self rescue * First aid techniques * CPR * Lifeguarding duties * Recognizing persons in distress in the ocean * Steps of a rescue * Rescue board techniques * Lifeguard communications (radio codes, hand signals) * Mock rescues * Body board instruction, surfing instruction, body surfing instruction * Physical fitness * Nutrition * Sun Protection * Sportsmanship and teamwork * Water etiquette * Municipal codes * Jr. Lifeguard competition events Oceanography, marine life and respect of nature

Instructors cover a set amount of topics at an age appropriate level by using their own unique creative approach. Therefore, Junior Guards learn new information yearly and also build upon information with experience. One of the best aspects of the Junior Lifeguard Program is children learning and having fun at the same time!

For More Information and Reservations please contact:

Turtleguard Inc. External Link(760) 944-1657
Del Mar Junior Lifeguards Link

From The City of Del Mar's website

The Lifeguard Department serves the community with a wide variety of community service programs. The Department staffs permanent and seasonal lifeguards. Lifeguards patrol and oversee 2.5 miles of beach. Each day, lifeguards establish and maintain safe swimming and surfing areas.

They warn visitors of dangerous swimming areas, rip currents, and unstable cliffs and bluffs. Environmental conditions are constantly monitored and weather and surf are updated and posted throughout the day. Lifeguard training is extensive. While keeping physically fit is important, the Lifeguards are highly trained in several areas.

Qualifications include being Emergency Medical Technicians with advanced airway and defibrillator accreditation. The Department operates year-round cliff, swift water and scuba rescue teams. The Department also cross trains for mutual aid responses with the Aerial Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies (ASTREA) and the United States Coast Guard.

The Lifeguard Department offers a large Junior Lifeguard Program for ages 9 to 17. The program is designed to give each participant an opportunity to experience the beaches and ocean in a unique way. Groups are exposed to activities including water safety, first aid, mock rescues, body surfing, paddling and ocean swimming. The program is designed to help promote self-esteem, sportsmanship, environmental concerns and a healthy respect and familiarity with the ocean – all of which is important for the Junior Lifeguard interested in working, someday, as a certified Ocean Lifeguard.

The lifeguards are also PC-832 certified which allows them to issue citations for infractions that may occur on the beach. Those include underage drinking, animal violations, and parking violations.

The Del Mar beach has very strong rip-currents and several inshore holes. The Department averages 1400 water related rescues and 1100 medical aids per year.


Our highly trained and motivated team strives to maintain and enhance our reputation for excellence in safety, cleanliness, and use of our recreational resources.


Lifeguard headquarters is on the beach at 17th Street.

There are permanent towers also at 20th Street, 25th Street, and 29th Street. Bathrooms and showers are at 17th and 25th Street stations, and 20th Street also has a shower.

25th Street Tower was recently remodeled, as it was damaged during a recent winter storm.