Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Along Santa Monica South...

Dateline: Saturday, May 13, 2017 along Santa Monica South...  these are my favorite shots from this morning and early afternoon during a walk from Bay St. to the Venice Breakwater along the shoreline and the return trip from Venice back to Santa Monica along the boardwalk...


Until next time.....

 "County Recurrent" News

(All photos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2017.)

p.s. plus for extra credit, Ave 19 in Venice:


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Friday, May 12, 2017

"Mother's Beach, Summer 1974", by Dan Bridges

It's been thirty plus years since I heard Dan tell this story and it still gives me the chills.  Three little girls lives were saved solely because of Dan that day.  Love this story!  Let's read it together... as told by Dan in story format.

Dan Bridges, present day. Photo courtesy of Dan.

"The sun was shining brilliantly reflecting off the water's surface at "mother's beach" in Marina Del Rey, that summer day  in 1974. The roped off swimming area was teeming with young children playing in the water, bouncing off the bottom.  I was walking along the shore toward the open box on the sand that I was assigned to occupy for my shift that morning while I scanned the water for any signs of distress in the children.   Everything seemed fine.

By the time I got half way up the stairs to the chair in the box, I caught something out of the corner of my eye.  There was a hand sticking up out of the water and moving erratically in the middle of the swim area. In that moment I knew that I just needed to get out there as fast as I could.  I remember the feeling of panic within me as I leapt from the ladder that I had been climbing up to the platform.

I hit the sand running out into the water with my adrenaline pumping at full force through my body. I still had on my jacket as I ran through the shallow water and then swam full speed to get out to the spot where I had noticed the little hand sticking up out of the water amongst the crowd of children. The hand had disappeared under the water before I got there. The area was the infamous hole that existed at the time half way out to the buoy line.

As I approached the area I saw bubbles breaking the surface.  I saw a little face with two big brown eyes looking up at me from below the surface; she was sinking further down. Her arm was reaching up at me with the fingers extended.  I reached down into the murky water and grabbed  her arm. As I pulled she felt heavier than I had expected. Then I saw the other  two girls. They were holding on to her in a chain. Amazing how the survival instinct gives little kids the power to hold on to someone else using those little hands. I got them all to the surface; they gasped for air. They then re-attached themselves to me. One on each shoulder and one around  my neck. They were about five years old, so not strong enough to choke me.  I just started swimming breaststroke trying to keep their faces and  mine above the water until I could stand up. 

When I could stand up they held on to my hands until we got clear of the water. Their mother was there at the water's edge visibly shaken as she had watched me swimming in with them.
Fortunately, I got to them before they had taken a lot of water into their lungs. They would be OK. 

After they dried off, their mother brought them over to say thank you. I didn't think that I had done anything special being that it was my job to do what I had done. I was just in the right place at the right time to prevent a tragedy."

Dan Bridges

(Story © Dan Bridges 2017. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission. Reproduction of this story without Dan's express written consent is expressly prohibited.)

Not every guard could have made that triple rescue that day.  Dan's strong swimming skills played a HUGE part in the role of this multiple rescue.  In Junior College, I watched him win the State Championships in both the 200IM and 400IM.  This was before I met Dan as a lifeguard.  I watched him swim the 200IM with my coach, Johnny Joseph, and remarked "I wish we had that guy on our team!"  JJ did not disagree.  Dan Bridges rookie year was 1972 with L.A. County and he worked until 1992 before moving up north.  I asked Dan who else was in his rookie school and he replied, "I remember only a few guys from my rookie school. Dave Story, Val Jolley, Bernie Stenson."  Dan continues to train and compete as part of a Masters swimming program up north and still kicks ass and takes names in the IM!

As far as this triple rescue is concerned, I think I would have had to toss those little girls one at a time in toward shore a few times rather than try to carry them all together while trying to do breaststroke, that's for sure. Not Dan, though, as he was THE strongest and fastest multiple stroke swimmer I had ever seen.  There was also a dude from Cypress College that swam the 1650 Free who was an absolute machine but I can't remember his name but JJ watched him like a hawk and was very impressed by that swimmer's fitness and the precision of his flip turns and stroke speed. He was maybe 5' 9" tall and he smoked that race and won State hands down, but that's another story...

Many thanks to Dan for sharing this story with all of us. I've been after him FOR YEARS to tell it because it deserves more attention and besides who doesn't like a great rescue story with a happy ending?!...  Besides I've been telling it and not quite getting it right.  Thanks again, Dan!

Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

2017 OL Recheck Reconnaissance...

Dateline: Wed., May 10, 2017, early afternoon... On this day I arrived unannounced to get a look at the buoy course set up for this year's OL Recheck swim.  It was reassuring to find that the buoys were set at what appears to be the correct distance, rather than closer to Catalina....  :-)  as occurred one year in the recent past but enough about that.

I also brought along a Ginormous Glazed Donut for THE CHIEF only to find out he is currently out on injury due to knee surgery...  So his Donut was left up for grabs and on the first floor there were a BUNCH of new OLS's being trained to be Recheck Trainers so hopefully they got in on the carbs...

In any case, please follow along if you so choose..... here are the photos of our trip to the Training Center, plus a short video of the buoy course as well.

Below: Pizza trivia..... Part Owner of Blaze Pizza is apparently Lebron James who was recently quoted with respect to a question as to why he invested in this franchise:  "Who doesn't like pizza?!"
Well played Lebron!...

Holy Moly!... Look at all the trucks and such and the road construction on Rosecrans!...

*** Video Alert ! ***

2017 OL Recheck Buoy Swim Course Reconnaissance: The Video

More road construction on the escape from So. Bay...

Free At Last!...

 OK, to all you Recurrents still on the list:  If you are not yet swimming in the pool, GET STARTED ASAP!  Showing up out of shape is not acceptable.  Suck it up and get it done!  10-4.


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

(All photos and video by & Copyright Will Maguire 2017.)

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

BAYWATCH THE MOVIE: Charity Benefit Screening Invitation

Heads up!...

(Image Source:

To my Lifeguard & Firefighter family,

I have been a lifeguard for 47 years.  Being a part of this fantastic brother/sisterhood not only inspired the creation of the television series “Baywatch” but the creation of a foundation, A Chance for Children, to benefit children from the inner city of Los Angeles. After rescuing so many of these children (along side many of you) I knew that the best way to prevent tragic endings was to teach them about the beach and how to swim.   I soon learned that there were other basic things to expose them to as well… like school, a safe place to play and a bright future.   

With the new “BAYWATCH" movie coming out soon, I thought it might be fun to host a benefit screening before it opened world wide AND raise some money to help the children we serve!   So, on Monday evening, May 22, we hope you can join us at The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

I am asking for a tax-deductible contribution of $100 per ticket to help the foundation, but because I was once a “young” lifeguard, I know that $100 can be a lot of money when you are in school and working part time.  So for those of you who are under 30 years old, tickets are $50.  Apply the promo code: under30 when you click on the below link to buy your tickets.  

I look forward to seeing you there!

Greg Bonann
Rookie Class 1970
Creator “Baywatch"
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Cinco de Mayo along SMS...

L2R, above, OL Matt Mohegan and Capt. Tom Seth at Tower #20 at Bay St.
Dateline:Friday, May 5, 2017 along Santa Monica in the late afternoon and early evening.....

*** Video Alert ! ***

 Baywatch on Patrol: The Video

Below, notice the continuing yellow algae bloom along Santa Monica South.... yuck!.....

Undaunted, however, below is SMS local and veteran State Beach Lifeguard, Tom Snyder (and retired L.A. City/LACo OL), just about to hit the surf for his daily constitutional, e.g., ocean swim...

And below, closing up Tower #24 is OL Shane Gallas who is on his way to finish his shift at Tower #20 at Bay St...


Until next time......

"County Recurrent" News

(All photos and videos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2017.)

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Santa Monica State Beach Cinco de Mayo 2017 #Beachtrash Report

Dateline: Late afternoon/early evening of Friday, May 5, 2017, along Santa Monica South starting at the Santa Monica Pier and near the shoreline down to Ocean Park and back.....  Nothing has changed, the beach near the shoreline is still filthy with #beachtrash thanks to the continuing neglect of the City of Santa Monica which refuses to hand pick up the #beachtrash near the water's edge on either a daily or regular basis.

Today was especially filthy with #beachtrash (glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic and paper trash, etc.), plus I found FIVE (5) dead birds (cormorants) along the shoreline and which the City of Santa Monica had not removed UNTIL I flagged down one of the City's ATV's and two of the city sanitation staff removed the dead birds at my behest.  Had I not noticed them and flagged down the City employees these dead birds would have remained on the beach and continued to represent a public health and safety risk.

I have no hesitation in stating that, in my opinion, the City of Santa Monica is grossly negligent with respect to its continuing failure to daily or regularly clean up #beachtrash near the water's edge along Santa Monica State Beach.  I have even brought this to the attention of Calif. State Parks, the State Attorney General and our very own Governor Brown AND STILL there has been no change in effort to either address and/or clean up the accumulation of #beachtrash near the water's edge on either a daily or regular basis.

In other words, neither the City of Santa Monica or the State of California care if #beachtrash and dead birds languish near the water's edge at Santa Monica State Beach. Our photos today, as before, do not lie.  Santa Monica State Beach is filthy and the #beachtrash continues to represent a public health and safety hazard.

Just look at how filthy this beach is in the photo below.  The City of Santa Monica obviously does not think it has any obligation to clean up the enormous amount of storm debris like bamboo shafts and other wood debris.  Meanwhile, the City continues to collect its exorbitant beach parking fees SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

Below, dead bird no. 1 (of 5)!...

Above and below, dead bird no. 2...

Below, dead bird no. 3!...

Below, dead bird no. 4!...

Below, I set up a totem composed of assorted #beachtrash, storm debris and 3 of the dead birds away from the water's edge and along the berm.

Below, dead bird no. 5!...

All of this storm debris was along the water's edge until I gathered it up in multiple locations along the berm so that the City "might" pick it up and get rid of it. I say "might" because the City does such a poor job of cleaning the beach near the water's edge.

Below, file under "prophetic"...  a discarded package of "GOOD TIMES" cigarillos.  Good Times, indeed, but not for the beach patron that has to navigate the sand to avoid all the #beachtrash, dead birds and storm debris...

And last but not least, here is a fitting parting shot of Santa Monica State Beach with the world famous Santa Monica Pier as a backdrop... meanwhile, in the foreground, the sand near the water's edge is absolutely filthy with #beachtrash and the City of Santa Monica couldn't care less!...

Shocking, eh?!...  Disgusting and filthy!  Welcome to Santa Monica State Beach...

Respectfully submitted,

William Maguire,
Santa Monica business owner

(All photos by & Copyright William Maguire 2017.)

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