Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014 LACo OL Recheck Swim Recon & So. Section Strafing Run...

Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's that time of year again for LACo Ocean Lifeguards: Rechecks.  We found ourselves late this morning in Manhattan Beach and so we grabbed our camera equipment and shot some photos of the beach, the buoy course, etc. et al in Manhattan Beach adjacent to the Training Center at 26th Ave.

And when we hoofed it out to the beach, across the soft sand and approached the tower at 26th Ave., we discovered Veteran Southbay LACo OL, Will Didinger on duty!... and so we bumped fists and exchanged "Hi Will" greetings.

*** Video Alert ! ***

Foot Patrol At 26th Ave: Video #1

The buoy course looks about the same as last year but perhaps a bit further out, at least that was what we heard from an off-duty LACo Lifeguard Captain who had just finished a surf session and was chatting with the aforementioned LACo OL at T-26.

The water is wonderful.  (According to Capt. Jay Butki, the water temp near Santa Monica is hovering near 70 degrees Fahrenheit).  The usual suspects exist in terms of inshore holes, lateral currents, etc.  We recommend that you get down there if you have a chance in advance of your recheck and swim the course.


We checked in with Veteran LACo OL, Greg Bonann, who took the recheck this past Thursday, May 29th, 2014, and we asked him to summarize the content and activities of this year's recheck and here are his remarks (published here with his permission):

"Here are my "couple of sentences" about the swim...

Now that I work the northern section, I no longer take the water temp in the so. bay for granted!  It was like bathwater and I could have stayed in all day!!!   Conditions were perfect for the swim and our group was FAST!!!   I noticed in the "introductions" part of the recheck earlier that morning, that all of those in the room except for John Fletcher and me were in rookie classes in the 2000-2014 and I am 1970 and John was 1972 (State).   So there were a number of fast, young kids to try to keep up with...

Other thoughts on the recheck:

I loved the beach "scenario" that we did as a refresher and thought that the "Baywatch" (rescue boat) boat-tow and jump off the stern was really fun too.    I was surprised that we actually did a speed jump at such high speed off of the boat because of the potential liability (just in case someone got hurt)... I remember when Richard Mark got hurt jumping off of the pier and how much that changed the "mind set" of recheck safety and of what that did to our "liability" issues...

Now that I have 45 years of lifeguarding to look back upon, I was particularly impressed with the recheck instructors this year.  Not only are they the best of the best that lifeguarding has to offer but they are a FANTASTIC group of young men and women who represent the BEST of our whole society!  They are the next generation of men and women who have chosen to do something with their lives to "give back" to  society in a meaningful way... some of them don't even know it yet, but I do!  They are a very, very special group of kids who will make a difference in a very tangible way to so many lives....  I am proud to be a part of it.

"Acting Chief" Moseley gave a fantastic talk.  He is a gifted communicator and reached his audience like no Chief before.   His topic was urgent and important and his delivery and emphasis made it even more effective.   I can see now, after his talk, why we as a lifeguard service need to be more aware and respectful of our situation.

The "fire department" lecture on "sexual harassment" was a complete disappointment. 
The lecturer was unprepared and a very poor communicator.  After following Moseley and the other articulate, rehearsed and knowledgeable lecturers this person looked and sounded like an unprofessional, uninformed, inexperienced and ineffective waste of time.   The fire department needs to fix this.  For a topic that they are willing to spend 3 hours of precious "recheck time" and hand it over to this type of person, is a huge waste of time and just delivers the kind of message to the audience (US!) that this topic is NOT important and we are just "sleep walking" through the process.    If the FD wants us to take this topic seriously, they better give us a serious, informed, articulate person to deliver the message.   It could not have been a bigger waste of time.

there you go...

Gregory J. Bonann"


*** Thanks Greg! ***

p.s. we also understand that our lifeguards need to get their days in and they will no longer be able to get waivers for days not worked or waivers of rechecks, so heads up to all of our LACo Ocean Lifeguards!... "Get your minimum days in and do the recheck!"


And just as we were leaving the beach at Ave-26... we see someone else we recognize, namely, OLS Joji Abasolo, who informed us that he just got back from the Philippines where he competed in the Philippine National Surf Lifesaving Championships and brought back some hardware!  Well done, Joji! 

*** Video Alert ! ***

Foot Patrol At 26th Ave: Video #2

And then we headed back toward home in Central Section.... woo hoo!...  and strafed Dockweiler on the way and gave a wave to OL E. Liberty and the rest of the Gundo Wrecking Crew.

*** Video Alert ! ***

Exiting Southern Section: The Video

The Dockweiler Youth Center

*** Video Alert ! ***

Strafing Dockweiler: The Video

Dockweiler Drive By/Strafing Run...


(All photos & videos by & © Will Maguire 2014.)


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

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