Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sept. 1st, 2015: "Have You Got Your Days In Yet?!"...


Kiss it Goodbye!  The 2014-15 Rating Year is History, it's in the books, it's in the can.  Didn't get your days in?!...  Good luck with that!...

As for today, Sept. 1st, 2015... It's A Whole New Rating Year!  In fact, Chief Moseley sent out a memo today on just this point...


HAVE YOU GOT YOUR DAYS IN YET?!!!

Along SMS this morning we saw several LACo Ocean Lifeguards working on their Day #1 of this new 2015-16 Rating Year!  Kudos to John Baltz and David Walters who were were working SMS Towers #20 and #22, respectively.

When we saw OL Baltz he was just combing his hair after his on duty workout where he said he shredded some waves in the 3 - 4' range with plenty of shoulder and decent shape.


Next, we saw OL Walters on his on duty workout catching some waves as well and we may have to nickname him "Big Wave Dave" because he was catching wave after wave when we swam out to say hi, with our DaFins on, of course... followed by a bodysurf and shoreboat wave up the berm with sand scraping my chest...

SMS Tower #22, "On A Workout..."

OL Walters Waiting For The Next Set...
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Until next time.....


"County Recurrent" News
http://CountyRecurrent.blogspot.com





















(All photos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2015.)

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Working in Paradise... Cove, that is... by Kip Jerger

Working In Paradise

Dateline: Monday, August 31, 2015

Veteran Ocean Lifeguard, Kip Jerger, has gone to Paradise... Cove, that is! Kip has been working as a beach lifeguard this summer at Paradise Cove, which is a private beach in Malibu, that most of us are familiar with.  Kip sent us some photos and commentary on this very special place along our coastline to share with our readership.

Sunrise In Paradise...

"Cut Short in '83...


This pier was drive-able park at the end and go fishing in the 50's - 70's. El Nino 1982-83 crushed it, with the surf SO BIG it broke the pier in two.

LACo OL, Craig Mattox, was hired to saw the old pilings off at low tide. Yes, Alfred E Newman, himself... Great Waterman, Surfer, Swimmer Extraordinaire.  Mattox. A legend.  A Supreme Urchin diver too!


There are also quite a few classic members of our ocean lifeguard tribe that live here. It's not just a place where that fictional tv private eye, James Rockford, lived and ran his private investigative practice out of a trailer. The beach and the restaurant views are stunning.  The nearby surfing epic.  Do stop by. If you haven't been here, you are really missing out."


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*** Thanks Kip! ***

x-ref: Please note our recent County Recurrent blog post (see link below) on the finish of this summer's Richard Haddock Run-Swim-Run... which captured some photos and familiar faces out front of the Paradise Cove Cafe and the nearby pier where Kip watches the water.

http://countyrecurrent.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-2015-richard-haddock-run-swim-run.html

note/caveat:  The parking is expensive in the private beach side lot at Paradise Cove.  If you are dining it is discounted to $6 with validation. If you are planning on spending a day at the beach you either are going to have to shell out the $30 plus to park by the beach or park along PCH, where indicated, and trek back down to the beach. In either case, if it is a weekend day you should arrive early to avoid the crowds trying to get and out of Paradise Cove.  A weekday is a great option.

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Until next time.....


"County Recurrent" News
http://CountyRecurrent.blogspot.com

(Photos and text by & Copyright Kip Jerger 2015. Used here with permission.)

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Manhattan Beach Shout Out!...

Dateline: Friday morning, August 28, 2015.....

Our mission this morning was to do a soft sand foot patrol from the Training Center to the Manhattan Beach Pier and back, plus a swim.  Mission accomplished. Here's the proof...

Our trip began with some surprising news at Randy's Donuts...



Arrival at the Training Center. Check out THE VARDEMAN trophy!... in the lobby.


Check out the 2015 Rookie Class Gift to the Training Team!  Wow!  A pair of fins made out of wood!



26th St.


The Training Center from the beach...


I wonder who that could be?!...



*** Video Alert ! ***

26th Street 360 Degrees: The Video

     https://youtu.be/6XfBidVkQ3E



Surfski - Surf...


OL Brian Murphy, off duty, getting a morning surfski workout in before going on duty at 26th St.


Marine St., Capt. Jeff Horne, on duty...


Marine St. Tower...


Surf - SUP - Surfski...



seen overhead flying toward MDR...




North Pier Tower... 







OK, How bout it?!...

$7 buys you an incredible grilled cheese sandwich!...





a few people out in the  line up in MB this morning...


Fins √  Rescue Can √  Toyota Tacoma...


Below, OLS Jamie Orr, on duty at Marine St.


"Charger" alert, below...


then we took a swim and as we were leaving we observed OL B.Murph out pounding the hard pack moving swimmers away from surfers at 26th St...



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Until next time.....


"County Recurrent" News
http://CountyRecurrent.blogspot.com

(All photos and video by & Copyright Will Maguire 2015.)

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Monday, August 24, 2015

The Lifeguards of Red Frog, by Kevin Taylor

We are really stoked to share some photos and commentary from Veteran LACo OL (Ret.), Kevin Taylor (also recently a retired Fire Captain), who is at present traveling like a true surf vagabond through some islands off the east coast of Panama!  Traveling cheap and living large, he is!  Pay attention if you want to emulate this adventure…

"The Water Taxi dock to Red Frog filled with taxis (e.g., boats). $5 each way to Bocas Town."



“Lifeguards of Red Frog”, by Kevin Taylor


Lifeguards of Red Frog Bocas del Toro (meaning "Mouth of the Bull") is a province of Panama comprising an archipelago off the Caribbean coast.  Isla Colón, the main island, is home to the capital, Bocas Town, a hub for dining, shopping and nightlife, with reggae music emanating from open-air bars, beaches with calm waters for swimming and learning to surf.  


Bocas Town has a small airport and is a stepping off point to the many surrounding islands. Red Frog Beach is the most popular beach in the islands of Bocas del Toro because of its location and beauty. One can surf gorgeous waves on Bastimentos Island, snorkel above the coral reef, lie on the white sand, take a night hike, or just stroll through the surf.  A select few establishments offer all the convenience needed for a perfect day at the beach.  This Panama Beach is unique because of the lush rainforest that fringes the sandy Caribbean beach. The beach is accessed by arriving from Bocas Town via 10 minute water taxi ride and then a 15 minute walk across from the calm water back of the island to the surf laden front of the island. You may spot a three-toed sloth as you walk across the island, a monkey, or a small red frog for which Red Beach derives its name.  Spotting exotic wildlife on Red Frog Beach and the other beaches on Bastimentos Island is almost guaranteed. Four of the world's eight sea turtle species nest on Red Frog Beach.   




For being among the most famous beaches in Panama, Red Frog Beach is only .75 miles wide. At each end of this Panama Beach there is a rock-peninsula outcropping.  About 100 to 300 people visit this Panama Beach everyday.  These guests are coming from the accommodations on Bastimentos island or day travelers taking water taxi from other Bocas del Toro hotels on the many other islands. The Caribbean beaches of Panama are considered by many to be superior to the Pacific beaches. The water is warmer, more blue, less tidal change, softer sand and the accompanying rainforest makes these beaches the best in Panama. Until recently, Red Frog beach was an unguarded beach.  

photo source: ed frog bungalow eco ocean website


Red Frog Beach

photo source: ed frog bungalow eco ocean website


With an average 2-3 foot surf break that can peak with 10 foot surf on large days, shifting sand bars and strong rip rides it was not unusual for a tourist to find themselves in trouble at Red Frog.  One man often came to the rescue of these swimmers in distress by volunteering his superior waterman skills in the turbulent surf.  Scott Balogh, a longtime surfer from the shores of California operates both Red Frog Bungalows Eco-Ocean Resort and Nachyo Mamma's taco stand on Red Frog beach. 



Scott rescued swimmers so often it began to rival his duties as proprietor of his two outstanding and thriving businesses.  "It began to become stressful going to the beach and worrying about someone drowning everyday" said Scott.  So he organized the three establishments on the beach to hire a privately funded lifeguard.  He then petitioned the Panama government for sanctioned trained lifeguards.  Panama requires pools to have trained guards.  His request was initially denied.  Then in January 2015 a Canadian man drowned when Scott was not there to help.  The government took notice and provided the trained guards for the beach. Scott and the other two establishments oversee and pay the guards.



 

Divier Castiillo and Christopher Gracia, both age 24, are two of the three lifeguards assigned to work Red Frog beach.  Each day they travel the 15 minutes by water taxi from Bocas Town on nearby Colon island. They each work eight hour days, five or six days per week.  There are no other relief guards.  Christopher and Divier use the uniform warning flag system in use in many jurisdictions, including the entire state of Florida.  Accompanied with interpretive signs to explain the meaning of the flags and information signs describing rip currents, this standardized system helps notify the public of conditions by reducing confusion of other flag colors and symbols used from place to place.  Green indicates low hazard, yellow indicates medium hazard and red indicates high hazard.  Double red indicates a beach closure. Both lifeguards received standardized training in a four month academy provided by the Panama National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), an agency established to implement all policies and action plans aimed at public protection.  The training is primarily pool based but encompasses some beach training. Scott provides additional informal training, such as instructing the guards in preventive techniques.  






Scott uses real life scenarios of pointing out potential problems prior to them happening.  Sure enough, his informal training turned into a real life situation where a young swimmer fell off her bogey board and the father struggled in a rip current.  Both Christopher and Divier sprang into action and ensured the safety of both swimmers. The Red Frog lifeguard program began in February 2015.  That first month, Christopher made over 50 rescues personally.  He makes nearly 20 rescues each month on average.  Earlier that morning Christopher rescued a German tourist woman from a strong rip current.  Upon hearing of the various educational exchanges held around the world by the professionals of the Los Angeles County lifeguards, Scott was enthusiastic for any additional training his new program might receive.   The lifeguard program developed by Scott Balogh and the service Christopher Gracia and Divier Castillo provide is invaluable in keeping travelers safely returning home to their loved ones.  These three men are your true heroes.


Kevin Taylor

(Copyright Text & Photos Kevin Taylor 2015. Used here with permission.)

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Below, Kevin Taylor, wearing his "Panama Red" shirt... Kevin was a LACo beach lifeguard for 25 years during summers both before and during his firefighting days.













*** Many Thanks to Kevin for sharing his photos and remarks with all of us!  ***

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Until next time.....


"County Recurrent" News
http://CountyRecurrent.blogspot.com

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