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Best of 2000: Best Place For An Ocean Swim

Del Mar or La Jolla Shores

Del Mar boasts no drownings in 20 years but has bigger surf. La Jolla Shores has a rocky point, Point La Jolla, that protects the beach, but not so many lifeguards per head of swimmers (in summer, anyway). Del Mar has 13 or 14 lifeguards looking out for 5000 to 7000 beachgoers on an average summer day; La Jolla Shores has 15 lifeguards and sometimes 30,000 people. Del Mar boasts two trucks, a car, two ATVs, and, on weekends, two surf boats, all towers open, and 6 guards at headquarters. La Jolla Shores has two patrol vehicles, one ATV, a jet-ski rescue craft, and a 225-hp 22-foot Boston Whaler surf rescue boat (shared with Mission Beach and Ocean Beach). The beach with the record of most rescues in one day is Mission Beach: On July 3, 1997, they saved 274 people. According to Brant Bass, a lieutenant with the San Diego Lifeguard Service, Ocean Beach and Mission Beach are also well-watched. Both he and Del Mar's Susan Doerr-York agree: winter is when you have to watch out. In summer, swells average 4 to 6 feet. In winter, they can grow to 15 to 20 feet. Winter surf digs holes that cause rip currents. And instead of over a dozen lifeguards, La Jolla Shores and Del Mar have maybe 3 each.

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Del Mar or La Jolla Shores

Del Mar boasts no drownings in 20 years but has bigger surf. La Jolla Shores has a rocky point, Point La Jolla, that protects the beach, but not so many lifeguards per head of swimmers (in summer, anyway). Del Mar has 13 or 14 lifeguards looking out for 5000 to 7000 beachgoers on an average summer day; La Jolla Shores has 15 lifeguards and sometimes 30,000 people. Del Mar boasts two trucks, a car, two ATVs, and, on weekends, two surf boats, all towers open, and 6 guards at headquarters. La Jolla Shores has two patrol vehicles, one ATV, a jet-ski rescue craft, and a 225-hp 22-foot Boston Whaler surf rescue boat (shared with Mission Beach and Ocean Beach). The beach with the record of most rescues in one day is Mission Beach: On July 3, 1997, they saved 274 people. According to Brant Bass, a lieutenant with the San Diego Lifeguard Service, Ocean Beach and Mission Beach are also well-watched. Both he and Del Mar's Susan Doerr-York agree: winter is when you have to watch out. In summer, swells average 4 to 6 feet. In winter, they can grow to 15 to 20 feet. Winter surf digs holes that cause rip currents. And instead of over a dozen lifeguards, La Jolla Shores and Del Mar have maybe 3 each.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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