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1/3 less lifeguards on beach patrol

There will be fewer lifeguards patrolling state beaches in San Diego county this month. The parks department say they're cutting lifeguard staff by about a third because of budget restraints. KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon has more.

Rip currents make June one of the most dangerous months to swim at the beach. But state park officials say they have to cut the number of lifeguards because they're in a budget crunch. Carl Tallman is the Lifeguard Supervisor for state beaches in North County. He says several beaches between Torrey Pines and Carlsbad will be affected by the cutback.

Tallman: If you come out to a state beach, where last year we may have been operating eight or nine tours on our beaches, we're going to be running our towers with two or three tours closed one each beach until the end of June.

Tallman says increased expenses, such as the rising cost of fuel, have left his department with less money to hire lifeguards. He says people going to the beach this month should only swim near lifeguard towers that are staffed. Joanne Faryon, KPBS News.

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