More participants in local junior lifeguard program despite recent numbers of shark sightings

The recent shark sightings along the Southern California coast were enough to postpone a kid's surf contest in Huntington Beach. But, it did little to temper the popularity of a junior lifeguard camp run by the city of San Clemente.

The number of kids trying out to join the program went up over last year, but what has changed, is the way the program is run.

The lifeguards won't let the kids swim as far out into the ocean as they did before, nor will they be able to swim out to the reef to snorkel, or jump off the pier.

I talked to a number of parents to find out if they had any qualms about enrolling their kids in the program. One told me she was a bit nervous, but then was reassured by other parents and by the promises made by the marine safety officers that their would be increased vigilance when the kids were swimming.

Indeed, the lifeguard boats regularly patrol the coastline, the lifeguards scan the ocean with high powered binoculars from their towers and a drone is launched daily, some times more often.

Today, a lifeguard believed he'd spotted a six footer and the drone was launched to look for sharks. But no luck.

Regardless, the lifeguards made an announcement to warn swimmers about the shark sighting and tell them they swim at their own risk.

As far as the kids in the summer lifeguard program, they were out of the ocean and onto other land activities.

I asked 9-yea- old Chloe Miller how she felt about hearing there'd been a shark sighting today, she said, "I wasn't too happy about that."

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