A message from the Laguna Beach Marine Safety Department, Life Guards

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Posted by on June 28, 2007 at 10:37:20:

As with all things related to time - change will happen. In this instance, change is related to the "Diving Ordinance" of the City of Laguna Beach. Created many years ago with the guidance, input and consensus of many professional members of the diving community, it has stood unchanged. However, at the same time, the dive industry has continued to grow not only in technology and techniques but in the quality and abilities of its participants as well.

In the last year, discussions between the local dive communities and the Marine Safety section of Laguna Beach has resulted in a very positive review of the efficacy of the ordinance and the role of the Laguna Beach lifeguards. You should note that there has been a change to the existing city ordinance. Although it has not been removed, and is still very enforceable, you can now expect that the on-duty lifeguard interaction with divers will only be to ensure the overall safety of the beach.

Expect that the lifeguards will now only take the time to determine where you are going (i.e. in at Shaw's and out at Crescent) and how long you may be. This process still continues to make sense because there is often times when we may enter in one cove and come out in another. As well, there are some divers who can extend a dive off our local beaches beyond what might be considered normal bottom times. The guards are there to assist you if/when you have a problem of any kind. Interacting with them about where you are going and how long you may be is extremely beneficial to your overall safety - consider it as filing a dive plan.

This change in the official lifeguard application of the Diving Ordinance was made based on input from the local dive community, which offered up a high level of expectation about how divers will conduct themselves. Divers conduct was the primary catalyst in making the change in the ordinance.


All divers will use safe diving practices that are currently accepted by the dive community.
All divers are expected to dive within the standards and conditions in which they were trained and certified.
All divers are expected to use dive equipment appropriate for the conditions presented and as accepted by the dive community.
All divers are expected to conduct themselves prudently for the conditions presented.
All divers are expected to take full responsibility for their actions.

The guards will still establish levels of safety related to surf conditions. Yellow flag conditions are considered hazardous and the diver is expected to measure that fact against their skill level. Red flag conditions are just plain dangerous and the beaches will be closed. Entering the water during Red flag conditions only puts that diver, and the lifeguard who will end up in the water on a rescue, at risk. That being said, you will no longer be expected to have a buddy or snorkel when diving.


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