By Michael A. Beuerlein
As the school year ends, and summer begins, millions will soon flock to our local beaches. In an effort to assist beachgoers to have a safe day at the beach, the California Surf Lifesaving Association participates in National Beach Safety Week and Rip Current Awareness Week from June 1 to June 8, 2014.
Our oceans and lakes can be a wonderful recreational resource. A national awareness week can remind us of both the joys and hazards of the aquatic environment. Lifeguards serve our communities in an effort to reduce the number of accidents at our beaches. In the past 50 years, 1.5 million lives have been saved by CSLSA affiliated lifeguards. But we cannot do it alone.
In addition to our lifeguards advising beachgoers that our oceans can sometimes be treacherous, our lifeguards partner with Project Wipeout to educate young people at events such as the Orange County Fair regarding the potential dangers that exist at our beaches and other open bodies of water, and the types of injuries that can occur.
Also, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation will be providing sunscreen in every CSLSA affiliated lifeguard tower this summer, while 20,000 Junior Lifeguards across the state will be educated on skin cancer prevention.
And our Regional Lifeguard Championships on July 24 and 25 in Huntington Beach will test the lifesaving skills of Ocean Lifeguards and Junior Lifeguards in a competitive environment.
It’s a propitious time for the CSLSA. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary and embark on a summer celebrating the profession of lifesaving, we also want beachgoers to have a memorable summer.
There are some things beachgoers can do to protect themselves and their children. (For a complete list, consult our website at cslsa.org).
· Swim Near A Lifeguard
· Never Swim Alone
· Swim Sober
· Don’t Dive Head First, Protect Your Neck
· Leash Your Board
· Don’t Fight The Current – “Break The Grip of the Rip!” – Swim parallel to the shore.
Following these suggestions can help ensure that your time on the sand will be a safe day at the beach.
Michael A. Beuerlein is the President of the CSLSA, a non-profit organization based in Huntington Beach whose mission is to promote beach safety awareness and professional open-water lifesaving standards.