A new, temporary lifeguard tower has been placed on Carlsbad State Beach in between Carlsbad Village Blvd and Tamarack Avenue. Tower 36B stands twenty yards to the south of Tower 36, where it has been positioned directly on the sand and much closer to the high water line.
According to lifeguard Luke Woodworth, this stretch of beach has developed a high sand berm which had made it difficult to see the shore from Tower 36. Towers are meant to increase the lifeguards’ line of sight and allow them to see over obstructive objects such as beach umbrellas so that they may identify at-risk swimmers, rip currents and other possible hazards. From his improved vantage point atop 36B, Luke can now easily scan the stretch of coast from Frazee Beach to Tamarack Beach.
Temporary lifeguard towers are not uncommon in the area; one was placed on Tamarack Beach a few years ago after a berm had built up. Depending on the movement of water, wind, and sand, tall berms appear and disappear with the shifting seasons.
Surfers have also noted the changes near Tower 36. One local resident speculated that it’s the result of the SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) sand replenishment project which occurred to the north of Frazee last winter. Approximately 218,000 cubic yards of new sand was spread on 3,000 feet of beach from Carlsbad Village drive up to the Buena Vista Lagoon mouth in November and December of 2012. Storms and currents then moved the sand south, resulting in this summer’s high berms and altered surf breaks.