Friday, March 11, 2011

"The Zuma Buoy Swim"

Legend has it that the buoy off Zuma Lifeguard Headquarters is a symbol of lifeguard fitness. In fact, there is a tradition at Zuma Beach where a swim out to a buoy is not just a buoy, but is something along the order of a right of passage and a respected measure of fitness. Rumor has it that then Lt. Burnside started this tradition back in the early 1960's and required all recurrent lifeguards to swim out to the buoy and back before their shift for the first two weeks of summer.

In keeping with this tradition, "County Recurrent" sent one of its reporters out there yesterday morning at 0800 hrs to see what this was all about. We are also hopeful that we will hear from Zuma veteran lifeguards about their experiences with the Zuma buoy swim so that we can add their remarks to this blog post.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this photo collage of our trip out and back to the Zuma buoy... in water that was 53 degrees Fahrenheit!!!...

Be sure to check out our short video of the Zuma Buoy at the end of this blog post.

Also, just in from LACo Chief, Bob Burnside, Ret., this evening of March 11, 2011; Re: Zuma Buoy Swim:

"It became a fun challenge at times... One racing against the other... also challenges as to sprints thru the surf and back. Also, had the gang do in and outs... full speed... It was a fun time... and really never heard anyone cry about the water temp etc. Besides a workout, one of the big reasons was that Zuma water temp. was always far colder that south bay... We felt when it hit 60 degrees, we had arrived for summer temps.

Remember, even though the crew complained a little as they grabbed their freezing balls hanging in their sexy speedos... as I grinned watching them take those early spring swims in sometimes 58 degree zuma water temps...they always came out with a smile and as a family they knew and accepted that everyone was going thru the same agony... It paid off, however, as on those early spring and summer rescues, they new what to expect. I was always so proud of them. The best lifeguards in the world passed thru Zuma. They were and surely are still a "Team"... and "making rescues as a team"... working, playing as a team....Ala the Zuma "Village" which was part of the great tradition this section had... and hopefully will always hang onto... Bob


*** Many Thanks to Bob Burnside for his remarks on the tradition of the Zuma buoy swim.
Any of the rest of you Zuma guards want to share some memories about this tradition, please let us know.

All photos by Will Maguire. Used here with permission.

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Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

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R G said...

In the day fins were for bodysurfing and, sharks. Real lifeguards were barefoot and wetsuits were for diving and surfing. ZUMA--ZUMA--ZUNA, you know the drill!

spyder said...

Yeah, what's with the wetsuit and fins? Part of the joy of that swim, in the early summer, was the morass of jellyfish that congregated around the bouy. Always good for a special rush, the return to the beach went much quicker than normal. Still, it did work to get you ready for your shift and stay in pretty good shape.

William Maguire said...

This was a "media scouting event with video equipment in hand" and so we were advised to wear fins and wetsuits in the FIFTY-THREE (53) degree Fahrenheit water. This is not just 'shrinkage' temperature, as you well know, but is rather core temp and organ shock temp. Woo Hoo !