Monday, July 7, 2014

Rest in peace, Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguard Ben Carlson

Tragedy struck within our lifeguard family yesterday, Sunday, July 6, 2014, when a Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguard, Ben Carlson, lost his life while attempting a rescue of a swimmer in distress in large surf after 5 pm as the Fourth of July Weekend was coming to a close.

Image Source: Twitter @UnitedWaterman

Our hearts are broken and we send our prayers and condolences to our brothers and sisters of the Newport Beach Lifeguard Service, as well as the family and friends of Ben.

Ben Carlson, R.I.P. (Photo source: Facebook)

Below is the link to the official statement from the City of Newport Beach Fire Dept today:

Close calls happen frequently. Who hasn't been held down by powerful waves or hit the bottom or been grabbed by a victim.  Diving off the rescue boat in stormy seas, fighting to get out through pounding surf to retrieve victims carried out by rip currents.

It's a dangerous profession.

God Bless Ben Carlson for his devotion to duty and for saving lives.

Respectfully submitted,

Will Maguire, Editor
"County Recurrent" News


*** Official City of Newport Beach Announcement regarding the paddle-out and memorial service to be held to honor Ben Carlson:

*** x-ref; remarks/news source links:

• "The membership of the United States Lifesaving Association today mourns the loss of Newport Beach, California lifeguard Ben Carlson who died on a rescue at Newport Beach on the afternoon of July 6, 2014 in large surf conditions. Lifeguards place the lives and safety of those they protect ahead of their own in every rescue they attempt. Ben Carlson paid the ultimate price to protect the public he served so that another might live. He engenders the highest tradition of lifesaving and will be remembered always."

Lifesaving Aye,
B. Chris Brewster
President, USLA


"This was by far the busiest 4th of July I have ever experienced. I was going to write a little "good job" message last night. But now in the face of such tragic news from Newport, I just have to say I'm crushed and a 'good job' wouldn't be honest or even near sufficient. Heavy doesn't even begin to convey the feeling in my heart. So I'm just going to say this: The sense of Pride and Appreciation I have in every single one of you is absolutely beyond words. But I'll try to say it anyway. You are putting your lives on the line for strangers, countless times a day, swimming into a potentially deadly situation and returning with a huge grin when you get back to the tower because you know there is no better job in the world. I hope you realize that by doing what you're doing, you are operating at the peak of human potential, bodhisattvas of the beach, saints on the sand. Our motto: Unflinching courage coupled with unflagging effort. Hang in there. Mourn for Ben Carlson. Mourn for all of us for losing such a great human. But don't ever forget the value of what you do and why you do it."

Todd Shanklin
San Clemente State Lifeguard Association, July 7, 2014






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