The City of Del Mar Lifeguards began in 1965 with four full time guards.  San Diego County provided lifeguard services 1941-1964. Currently there are five full time lifeguards and 45 seasonal employees.  The lifeguards operate year round and are on duty from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. during the summer months, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. during the winter months, and variable hours during spring and fall.  Lifeguards are also attached to the 911 system for after-hour calls and specialty response teams such as Swift Water, Cliff, and SCUBA rescue.

Services & Responsibilities

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.  Lifeguard responsibilities include water rescue of swimmers and surfers, emergency medical care, boat rescues, swift-water rescue teams for river or flood emergencies, missing persons, and other related emergencies.  Environmental conditions are constantly monitored and weather and surf are updated and posted throughout the day. The Del Mar beach has strong rip-currents and several inshore holes. The department averages 1,400 water-related rescues and 1,100 medical aids per year with over 1.5 million visitors a year.

Lifeguard Training

Lifeguard training is extensive and in accordance with United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) standards. Del Mar lifeguards are highly trained in several areas. Qualifications include emergency medical technician (EMT) with advanced airway and defibrillator accreditation, emergency vehicle operations, FEMA incident command courses and technical animal rescue. The department operates year-round cliff, swift water and scuba rescue teams. The Department also cross trains for mutual aid response with local agencies such as San Diego Sheriff, Del Mar fire department, and other nearby lifeguard departments, and the United States Coast Guard. 

PC-832 Certification

Lifeguards are also PC-832 certified which provides the training and knowledge to issue citations for infractions of the Del Mar or San Diego County codes that may occur on the beach such as underage drinking, animal violations, operating without a permit, fires, smoking, and parking violations.


Our highly trained and motivated team strives to maintain the highest quality public safety services for the citizens and visitors of Del Mar through prevention, rescue, education, and beach management.  We provide the public with a welcoming atmosphere, safe beach and ocean environment and use of our recreational resources.