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 Lifeguard Challenges: Interview with Chief Lifeguard Jon Edelbrock
Julie Maxey-Allison | 10th Street

Rescue south of 4th Street.
Photo Mark Rathsam

Sandpiper (SP): The beach is opened: how is it going?

JE: The beach opening has gone fairly well. As expected, many are quite pleased getting back to the beach despite the limitations on activities. Most are respectful of the open space, the community, and the allowed movement-based rules in place to preserve public health. That said, the opening hasn’t been without its challenges: some visitors have been upset because they cannot participate in the experience as they wish. Late afternoon and into the early evening continue to pose the biggest challenge to gain compliance.

SP: Are lifeguards having any issues with defiance, if so how is it being handled?

JE: The closure and now limited opening both brought challenges and some defiance. First and foremost, our staff is working diligently each day to proactively educate, warn, and encourage behaviors within the current rules. We have had multiple issues daily that require more stern warnings and, on a few occasions, have needed assistance from the Sheriff’s Department.

SP: I understand there was a dramatic rescue last Saturday, May 16. Can you tell me more?

JE: There have been quite a few. I believe you are referring to the cliff rescue south of 4th Street adjacent to the State beach. We were called by State Lifeguard staff to assist with a rope rescue around 3 pm Saturday. A team of four of our staff set up a rope system to lower one of our staff members to safely secure the man who was mid-face down the bluff. Once secured, they lowered him to the ground.

SP: So the guy got stuck on the trail going down?

JE: He did. He had no medical conditions but simply became nervous and unable to proceed down the goat trail. Additionally, staff made approximately 20 other ocean rescues of swimmers throughout the weekend utilizing our inflatable rescue boat and paddle boards. We are attempting to minimize contact with early warnings and prevention; however, we are still making rescues. We have also had between 2 and 5 wounds from stingrays daily.



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