Thursday, June 7, 2012

LACo Recurrent Recheck Swim Changed Back to Customary Distance!

Dateline: Wed., June 6, 2012

Re: Recheck swim course returns to its historic customary distance.

Head's up, Recurrents!  The buoy course at the Training Center at 2600 Strand in Manhattan Beach, Calif was changed suddenly yesterday morning just prior to the recheck swim for the class on Wed., June 6, 2012. Below is a photo showing the new buoy course which is said to be approximately the same distance as it has been in the past, e.g., 500 yards plus.  This is, of course, substantially shorter than the controversial distance said to have been 680 yards which was set up for this year's recurrent recheck swims beginning in the middle of last month.  As expected, the finish times are once again back under 10 minutes for a great many recurrents.

LACo recheck buoy course as changed on June 6, 2012.  Photo by & Copyr. Will Maguire 2012.
note: both buoys are now north of the 26th St. lifeguard tower and the two buoys are closer together.

Additionally, below are three (3) separate short videos of the new course that shows the course as back to the customary distance that must be completed under 13 minutes.

(1)  2012 Altered LACo Lifeguard Recheck Swim Course: The Video

(2)  2012 LACo Recheck Swim: The Start!

(3)  2012 LACo Recheck Swim: The Finish!

We are also informed that this change was the result of ongoing discussions (which began shortly after the first rechecks last month) between the Dept. and LACOLA, though as of yet there has been no communication by LACOLA with the membership on this issue.  


p.s. And below is the photo we previously posted which shows what the longer buoy course looked like on May 22, 2012:


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

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diesel31 said...

The historic customary distance for the ocean recheck swim was the Venice Pier which you previously stated was 660 yards.
Disapointing to say the least.

Incoherent Rambler said...

In all reality, if you can't do the longer Venice Pier distance (660) in under 13 minutes, you shouldn't be a lifeguard. Just my opinion.

me said...

Sadly, the victims we rescue outside the surfline don't get to choose their lifeguard. Do you want the 12:59 guard rescuing your children?
oops they didnt get there in time.
oh well they passed the recheck at least.

me said...

Service • Training • Commitment

What do these words have to do with those of us that can not meet our low standards? I will say you are not one of them. You train year around and have no difficulties, I am confused as to whom you are speaking for???

Service • Training • Commitment

Ivan Wilkins

me said...

No replies?

William Maguire said...

1. Re: "diesel31" I am just this morning reading the comments to this earlier blog post announcing the shortened distance. Some great commentary here and I appreciate the input and dialogue. The Venice Pier distance has been floated by the Dept. as the "Historic Customary Distance". Yet, that does not really pan out under analysis of the past 30 plus years that I have been a LACo Beach lifeguard. I recall a recheck at Hermosa HQ in the late 70's in the spring at nite with a stiff onshore breeze in chilly waters that (at the time) us college aged swimmers relished, esp. because we hauled ass back to the hot showers which were at the time in the garage as I recall. Woo hoo! Then in the 80's we did the rcheck at SMC in the old pool (22 laps in yards). That went on for many years. I think after that we went to Venice but it was not always around the pier there. They would also set up the buoys just south of Ave-23 out front of Division and we would swim that as the recheck swim. In my opinion, the Venice Pier distance was floated by the Dept. this year to justify the longer distance at 26th St., but again this was only floated after the fact and after the longer course this year was first said to be in the 550 plus range. Then it was measured at 680 yards. And just recently I learned that this longer course was measured last month at approx. 780 yards with gps. My point is, the distance is uncertain and ambiguous and this is no way to run a recheck or present a recheck that will destroy careers of long time or less than pool fast recurrents.

2. Love the clarity of "Incoherent Rambler". Keep on rambling!

3. God bless you, Ivan. I love your enthusiasm and passion for lifeguarding. There are, however, 12 minute plus recurrent swimmers who make brilliant preventions and never allow the victims to get outside the surfline or who observe the rip currents early and the victims don't ever reach beyond the surfline. Ron Brown, RIP, for example had an uncanny other worldly pulse and early warning system from all his years of being in the ocean and would walk down on rips that had not even appeared yet. I remember working next to him on SMS years ago and the guy was a rip current shaman. Sure enough he would stroll calmly down to the waters edge and signal to the swimmers and then as the swimmers were moving in to the beach the first signs of the rip would appear. No kidding! Just ask John Thomas and Tim Morrissey and others who knew him well. Ron Brown was not our fastest swimmer, however. So this is a controversial issue, to say the least. Do we just want fast swimmers who may not even recognize a rip current and I've worked next to this type of guard in my career? Or do we want seasoned beach lifeguards who make 'preventions'. In the hypothetical you posit with respect to who would I choose to make a rescue outside the surf line, the answer is the faster swimmer, of course. Yet, the seasoned lifeguard and perhaps slower swimmer may have prevented the situation from even occurring.

William Maguire said...

4. Ivan, I am advocating clarity, uniformity and certainty with respect to the recheck swim distance. This year, however, it has been the exact opposite. The longer distance this year was set up arbitrarily and the actual distance remains unknown. First it was said to be in the 500 yard plus range, then it was said to be 680 yards, and then we just found out that Sam Bertolet measured it with gps at approx. 780 yards, which is very close to what Arthur Verge estimated it to be based on his 12 minute swim (the day after he swam the longer recheck swim in 12 minutes) at the Hawthorne pool where he completed 800 yards (in 12 minutes). So we should all feel let down by this complete lack of clarity. Was this just a mistake? Esp. when there is technology readily available to assist in the measurement of the recheck course. After all, technology is used to measure USLA events in the ocean. So was this instead an effort to weed out the slower guards? I don't know. What I do know is that this is not the way the most visible and largest lifeguarding service in the U.S. should be running its rechecks. This duty is certainly delegated and it was done so this year without clarity, certainty and fairness. Given the simplicity of measuring such a course, the ambiguity and uncertainty of the distance is inexcusable. In the end, I represent fairness and accuracy.

Erik Nelson said...

From Erik Nelson-will, can I send a message, not sure how. Erik