In recognition of our two June charities, the Newport Beach Junior Lifeguard Foundation + the San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation we wanted to spotlight some of our own Grit Family Jr. Guard Rockstars.  We think it’s also a good time to review some beach/summer safety tips to keep all us healthy and sound during the next couple of months.

Instructor Leigh is a big fan of the Newport Beach Jr. Guards. Her oldest daughter, Rylan, undertook this local summer ritual last summer and plans to do it again this year. Here is what she had to say about their family’s experience:

Our daughter Rylan experienced her first summer of Jr Guards last year. It’s something the local kids grow up knowing about. Before she was old enough, she’d see all the kids in uniform riding their bikes down to the peninsula and knew she was going to be a jr guard when she turned 9.

You have to qualify for the program and that in itself is a a huge accomplishment. The youngest set of kids (age 9) must swim 100 meters in under 1:55. They start training for that test as early as January. The first swim test is in April. This year Rylan (age 10) had to swim it 10 seconds faster to qualify. Our son Sawyer (age 9) will be in the “D” group as a first-year participant.

{Rylan post “monster mile” -where the kids run and swim a mile; Leigh’s mighty girl finished in the top 10 even though she was unbearably exhausted.}

It really is a rite of passage. Not only does the jr guard program teach young kids about Ocean safety, the program teaches discipline, respect and confidence.

Thank you Leigh for sharing Rylan’s Jr. Guard Story. She definitely is one tough, strong girl–duh, she gets it from her mama.

Junior Guards teaches beach and ocean safety.  Here are a few important reminders as the weather warms and we make more frequent trips to the sand and water:

  1. If you are in the water, watch for rip currents; rip currents, which pull swimmers away from the shore, are the cause of over 90% of swim rescues ever year. Always ask a lifeguard where the rip currents are. To exit a rip current, simply swim parallel to the beach {with the side current} until you are out of the current. Then, return to the beach. Do not panic! If you cannot escape from the rip, just relax, tread water, and wave for assistance. The worst thing that will happen, is the rip current will pull you past the surf, where it will disperse.
  2. Swim near a lifeguard tower and never swim alone! Many drownings occur because the swimming was solo, without a friend alongside or at least someone on shore keeping tabs on you.
  3. Do not swim impaired! STAY SOBER if you’re going in the water. Booze is a giant contributor to drownings and reduces swimming ability.
  4. Protect your neck and resist diving headfirst into unknown water. Catastrophic neck injuries can occur in body surfing when swimmers dive head first into the bottom of the ocean. Per the San Clemente Lifeguard you should “check for depth and obstructions before diving, then go in feet first the first time; and use caution while bodysurfing, always extending a hand ahead of you.
  5. Wear waterproof sunscreen and reapply often!

We care about you Gritties. We want it to be the #bestsummerever! But we want it safe and sound; use caution, common sense, and proper judgement.

Have a great weekend and see you in the Saddle Room!




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