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Staying Safe on Sunset Cliffs

Sunset Cliffs is PLNU’s own beautiful backyard, but the area poses potential dangers to those wishing to enjoy what the area has to offer.

According to Joseph Gaydos, a lifeguard permanently stationed in Ocean Beach, the cliffs, “as beautiful as they may be, do pose some risks.” He points to the lack of permanent lifeguarding, tricky rip tides and unstable cliff edges as unique dangers.

The City of San Diego cites five cliff rescues and 33 water rescues in the last three months, just along Sunset Cliffs. Gaydos especially stresses the need to watch out for rip tides. He says that if you find yourself in one, “remain calm, conserve your energy, the rip current will only pull you to the outside of the waves. Once on the outside swim parallel to shore and aim for the breaking waves.”

Lastly, an easy step to remaining safe at Sunset Cliffs is to download a free tide chart app (try Tides Near Me) so that you can always know when the beach will be washed out due to high tides, or when it’s the perfect day to explore the tidepools.

According to the city of San Diego website, the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park was created as an area, “free from the effects of man and intended to inspire the user to reflect on the grandeur of the sea, and the beauty of the cliffs that were once Point Loma.” So, go enjoy your picturesque backyard.


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Jordan Lemke

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