SAN ANTONIO — With its sandy beaches, old-fashioned buildings, and old-world charm, San Antonio’s Mission Bay neighborhood is known for its lively nightlife.
But the beach community also is known as one of the most dangerous places in the United States for sailors and surfers.
A recent study by the University of Southern California’s Marine Mammal Center found that between 2008 and 2012, more than 3,200 sailors and surfer died on the beach, including at least 1,400 from drowning.
The majority of these drownings occurred during the months of May and June.
While the exact number of fatalities may be much higher, according to the study, the numbers in San Antonio are more than twice the national average for that time of year.
One of the deadliest months of the year is May, when more than 1,000 people were killed.
In San Antonio and surrounding areas, surfers have been known to jump from a bridge and run into the surf, or run into surf and then jump from the bridge.
Some of the fatalities have been linked to surfing on public beaches or in parks.
When the San Antonio City Council approved a ban on the use of surfboards and paddle boards in San Marcos and the surrounding areas in August 2012, the council called on the city to increase public safety by prohibiting the use in public places.
The ban was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2017.
In a statement released at the time, San Antonians and the Surfing Coalition of San Antonio applauded the ban and said it was a step forward in the community to make surfboards a non-issue on our beaches.
The Surfing Community of San Antonio, which was formed in 2011, works with the city’s Department of Public Safety and the local parks department to make safety improvements on public and private beaches.
Surfing has become an integral part of our community, said Matt McBride, the organization’s executive director.
The organization promotes public safety and education in our community and also works with local surf schools to help students learn to surf safely.
The association has about 2,000 members and has been working for about a decade to reduce the deaths on the beaches, said McBride.
The San Antonio Surfing Alliance has been involved in the development of various initiatives to address the issue.
The first initiative, dubbed the Surf Safety Action Plan, was implemented in 2006, McBride said.
It was followed by the implementation of Surf Safety Education and Prevention in 2007 and the establishment of a new boardwalk, which is located on the north end of Mission Bay, in 2009.
The group also works to educate the community about surfing and other safety issues.
For the past several years, McQueen said, the Surfer Safety Alliance has developed a “safety plan for the community,” which includes measures to educate local surfers, surf boards, paddle boards and other equipment, including sand bars.
The plan also includes the creation of an “advisory council” to help guide the surf community and work with other groups in the area to improve safety, McByrne said.
While most of the deaths are believed to have been accidental, the association has been able to prevent about two dozen deaths in San Antonios water, he said.
San Antonio has a long history of surfers drowning.
In 1911, a 16-year-old boy drowned off Mission Beach, in the Mission District, after falling off a wave and hitting his head.
In 1968, a 17-year old was killed on a beach when he jumped off a board in front of a group of men on Mission Beach.
In 1986, a 19-year, 16-time world champion surfer, Ron Sosa, was swept off the board at Mission Beach and drowned.
In 1996, a 15-year surfing champion died on Mission when he fell into a wave on the deck of the ship he was surfing.
The last time a surfer drowned was in 1989 when a 16 and 17-month-old surfer were swept off a paddleboard off Mission, the city reported.
In 2017, a man who had been surfing on Mission in front on a wave became stuck in the water and died.
The incident happened while Sosa was surfing, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office said.
In 2016, another 16-month surfing champion drowned while surfboarding on Mission beach, according the San Francisco Chronicle.
On the morning of March 4, 2018, a surger in San Francisco died on his own while surfing on a surfboard, the Associated Press reported.
He was surfing in a boat at San Francisco’s Mission Beach when he was swept into the water.
He died at the scene.
The cause of the accident remains unknown.
In addition to the May and July surfer deaths, there were at least five drownings in San Diego in the same period, according a report from the San Dieguito County Sheriff Department.
The sheriff’s department found