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Photo gallery: Junior Lifeguards take a dive off fully reopened OB Pier to help Prevent Drowning Foundation

San Diego Junior Lifeguards turned out to jump 20 to 30 feet off the Ocean Beach Pier into the sea on July 11 for the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Proceeds from the Pier Jump — through tickets purchased by participants or donations — help fund swimming lessons in low-income areas and provide aquatic safety education.

The fundraiser is the only time jumping is allowed from the Ocean Beach Pier.

A second Pier Jump is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 15. Ticket details will be available Aug. 5. For more information, visit preventdrowningfoundation.org.

The first jump came just days after the pier fully reopened to the public July 8.

The pier was damaged by high surf in January 2021, resulting in repairs to railings that kept it closed until the following May, when much of the pier reopened. However, damage to the rebar and foundation beyond the Walking on Water Cafe kept the end section closed until this summer.

Design and construction of a replacement for the 56-year-old pier is one of the top priorities of a new unit in the city of San Diego’s Engineering & Capital Projects Department. In conjunction, a working group of residents is being created to convey the community’s desires for the pier during planning that starts in the fall.

An evaluation report completed in 2019 and released in April 2021 said the pier has “reached the end of its service life.” The inspection found cracked pilings and erosion, particularly at the junction where the downward-sloping pier from the land meets the slightly upward-sloping section heading out above the water.

Of the three options for the pier offered in the report — repairing existing damage (about $8 million), rehabilitating the pier (up to $50 million) or tearing it down and building a new one ($60 million to $65 million) — Ocean Beach community leaders have expressed preference for the latter, saying a new, modern pier will last longer (75 years or more) and would be more cost-effective than a major overhaul.


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