Junior Lifeguards hit the beach

Lifeguard instructor Tommy Hinga talks about rip currents with a group of 10- and 11 year-olds in 2007. Due to state budget constraints, local beaches are left with few lifeguards to watch over beachgoers. Photos By TARMO HANNULA

CAPITOLA — The Capitola Junior Lifeguards program got underway June 18. The annual program, geared for youths ages 6 to 17, is an active, physically challenging, competitive program, which provides instruction in the basic fundamentals of ocean water safety, first aid, lifesaving, fitness and good sportsmanship.


“This program is about camaraderie and safe behavior around the ocean,” said Anthony Gotti, a coordinator with the program. “These youths will learn a great deal about ocean safety, like identifying rip tides, first aid and how to respond to an emergency. We offer different skills for different age groups. The older youths will learn some of the basics of lifeguard skills.”


Beach Lifeguard Capt. Tyler Conroy said, above all, he hopes that youths in the program come away with:


• A sense of pride about their beaches and the ocean.


• Enough knowledge to help educate their friends and visitors about ocean safety.


• An understanding of changing conditions in the ocean, of rip currents and other dangerous conditions.


• To enjoy the ocean and beach


• And to be able to respond appropriately to someone in trouble in the water and how to get help right away.


“We’re also out here to help these kids have a lot of fun and to build valuable friendships,” Conroy said. “And we emphasize physical fitness.”


For information, visit www.cityofcapitola.org.

© 2019-Aptos Life

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