Working Together

To Save Lives

Wear Your Life Jacket To Work Day

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                       


San Diego, CA, May 10, 2024: As the summer season approaches, the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego (PDFSD) and the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department are teaming up to host a community event focused on water safety awareness. Scheduled just in time for the 2024 summer season, this initiative will bring together prominent community leaders, including City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Miss Teen California and Oceanside Lifeguard Marlie Wright, along with third graders from Chollas Meade Elementary School. 

These students have been benefiting from swim lessons at the City Heights Swim Center, provided by the SD Swims Grant program funded by PDFSD.

This event aims to underscore the importance of water safety education and highlight ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of our community members, especially as they enjoy aquatic activities during the summer months

What: Free event open to the public 

Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day + Drowning Prevention Month

When: Friday, May 17, 2023 / 10:00 a.m.

Where: City Heights Swim Center / 4380 Landis St., San Diego, CA 92105

Parking for VIP and Media off Landis / 44th St. just east of City Heights. Staff will be outside to help direct. Other parking is located at Mid City Gym off 43rd St between Landis and Wightman

Speakers Include: 

Todd Gloria, City of San Diego Mayor

Sean Elo-Rivera, City Council President

Ronan Gray, President of the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego

Marlie Wright, Miss Teen California

Andy Field, City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department Director

Misty Jones, City of San Diego Public Library Director

James Gartland, City of San Diego Lifeguard Chief

Nayeli Trejos, American Red Cross Director, Aquatics and Public Safety – Western U.S.

Richard Barrera, San Diego Unified School District Board Trustee

Schedule of Events:

9:30 a.m. Pool Deck Opens

10:00 a.m. Proclamation and Presentation

Upon conclusion: Photo opportunities with City of San Diego Leaders, Miss Teen California and 3rd grade swim lesson participants from Chollas Meade Elementary School

Key Water Safety Initiatives This Summer Include:

  1. Schools to Pools Program: PDFSD is collaborating with the City of San Diego and San Diego Unified to deliver dryland water safety education to students. This program aims to connect students and their families to in-water instruction and aquatic activities at local swimming pools. Program funding for this initiative is through Mental Health America of San Diego County.
  2. Libraries to Pool Program: Provides free access to the City Heights Swim Center for library card holders through the Discover and Go Program. This initiative not only provides an opportunity for families to enjoy swimming facilities but also supports the Book Pool Project. Through this project, families receive a curated list of water safety and water-loving family books to read together during the summer, further reinforcing the importance of water safety education in a fun and engaging way
  3. Swim 24Challenge Fundraiser Event: After a hiatus since 2019, the Swim 24Challenge fundraiser event is making a comeback. The official date is set for September 21, 2024 at the Standley Swanson Aquatic Complex. Swim 24Challenge is an unforgettable swimming experience where teams of up to 12 people swim a 24-hour relay to raise money to combat childhood drowning. Each team must have a swimmer in the water for the entire 24 hours. People of all ages and abilities are welcomed to take part in the challenge. Swimmers feel an incredible sense of accomplishment while participating in this unique, team-building event. Proceeds from Swim 24Challenge will benefit the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego (PDFSD)

Quick Facts:

  • Drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of death for children under 14.
  • 92% of drowning deaths in California are residents, 5% are from other states and 3% are from other countries.
  • 48% of all drowning deaths occur in June, July and August.
  • 79% of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability.
  • Research shows 64% of African-American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability.
  • Formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.


​​Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego believes that drowning is preventable and it is our mission to engage the community in a continuum of water safety programs and initiatives that provide access to the life-saving skill of swimming. Since 2009, our purpose has been simple: we do everything we can to prevent drowning by spreading awareness and funding swim lesson programs for targeted individuals who have limited access to gaining the life-saving skill. With our local school, community, and aquatic partners, we have impacted tens of thousands of young people in San Diego County and made their lives safer and more enjoyable.

2024 wear your lifejacket day flyer