I was at the beach yesterday and I watched a surfer working the waves outside the surfing area at St. Ann’s narrowly miss a little kid playing in the surf.
The lifeguard swam out to the surfer and I presume asked him to be careful and stay in the surf area.
I saw the surfer say something in response, and I couldn’t’ hear it, but from body language I could tell it wasn’t nice. Then the surfer flipped off the lifeguard and paddled away.
My son is a guard, and I asked him if he gets blowback like that and he said, “All the time.” He said the worst are more often locals because they resent being told what to do on “their” beach. He said he often gets abuse, and more often ignored and it’s embarrassing and disheartening.
Dudes! Really? It’s a public beach! There are reasons for the rules. My son had 10 saves the other day. The lifeguards are only doing their jobs, and their jobs are important, and their jobs matter. The ones manning the towers are usually just kids trying to earn some money during the summer. They don’t deserve that kind of abuse. Please, be respectful of the lifeguards.
Please teach your kids to be respectful of the rules, and the lifeguards. And, next time you’re at the beach and you see a lifeguard do something good, tell them how much you appreciate them. Trust me. They need that kind of encouragement sometimes.
Lynn Whitlock, Laguna Beach