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Children’s Pool La Jolla seawall closed due to damage


SAN DIEGO — The seawall at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla is closed because of damage from strong waves during winter swells. San Diego lifeguards are putting out safety warnings, while a local seal society club is calling for repairs on the wall to wait.

“This is very hazardous ocean conditions,” said Lieutenant Lonnie Stephens with the City of San Diego Lifeguards.

Double-digit foot waves continue to slam the San Diego coast, including knocking off sections of metal railings at the seawall at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool. The wall is closed to visitors to walk on.

“Where you see structures that have been damaged by large waves or parking lots flooding, that is a tremendous amount of power,” Stephens said.

The City of San Diego said its Parks and Recreation Department staff have examined the seawall and are preparing for the repairs.

Robyn Davidoff, the chair of the Sierra Club Seal Society, said she is hoping the city will wait to repair until after the seal pupping season in mid-May.

“So that there isn’t construction noise and pounding that would affect the seals. Seals are very skittish, so they would definitely flee if there was some sort of disturbance,” Davidoff said.

Davidoff said during these storms, seals, including the pregnant seals, will ride out the storm in the ocean to avoid the waves crashing. Davidoff said seals will spend more energy and calories hunting for food in the storms. That is why when they get back to land to give birth, “they really need to rest, and rejuvenate their bodies, and because of these storms, they are a bit underweight,” Davidoff said.

Experts advise watching the seals and the waves from a distance. Stephens says during this high surf advisory, getting in the water should be experts only. Stephens said experts, meaning people who have been training in the strong high tides.

Stephens said staying on the sand, means never turning your back to the ocean as waves can enter parking lots and beyond.

“We want everybody to be safe, but be mindful of the hazards of the large surf here in San Diego,” Stephens said.

Stephens said during the New Year’s Eve weekend from Dec. 28 to Dec. 31, lifeguards made nearly 100 rescues. The rescues consisted of surfers and swimmers who got caught up in 25-foot waves or bigger.

Stephens said they will continue to monitor the weather throughout the weekend to see if more guards are needed.

The City of San Diego said it is not known yet when the repairs to the seawall repairs will be completed.

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