Letter: For one girl, there will be another day at the beach

To the Editor:

To most people this isn’t much of a story, but to one young lady it could have meant her life.

As is my routine, being of that age group, I was at Calf Pasture Beach on Thursday (June 26) soaking up the Vitamin D and, like most days, the beach was empty since the full summer crowd still hasn’t caught up with the season.

There were lifeguards in four consecutive chairs, though, when there was a screeching of the horn indicating that a swimmer was in distress. About 50 yards out there was a swimmer flailing her arms indicating that she was in trouble. The guard was immediately on his surf board paddling frantically to get to the swimmer who was starting to go under. He got there, secured the swimmer properly to the board, and was paddling back to shore. At the same time, another guard had grabbed a life guard strap and swam out to the two. Also, two additional guards had driven up in a Jeep and monitored the rescue from shore ready to swim out if needed.

The rescued swimmer was taken by the people from the Jeep, I assume to make sure that she was well enough to get home or be in need of some medical assistance. After they left, the lifeguard went back to his position in the chair and all returned to the usual routine. Just another lazy summer day, but for one girl, maybe her life.

I share this story because we tend to minimize the job that most people in rescue and enforcement do in our daily lives. The next time you are out enjoying the summer days, remember to pay attention to your limitations, and to say thank you to all those who are there to make sure we are safe.

And, a special thanks to the life guard who possibly saved the young girl’s life.

Jim Balitsos Sr.


4 responses to “Letter: For one girl, there will be another day at the beach”

  1. ellen

    Thank you for sharing that with us Jim. Always great to have a happy ending. Be nice if those life guards get recognition in some way by the city. Yes its just their job but other city employees, like the full time first responders, get acknowledged regularly. Hint, hint Harry and Doug.

  2. Paul Cantor

    Thanks, Jim for this upbeat story. And thanks to the lifeguards too. Paul

  3. Suzanne

    It’s hard to believe for most, including me, that saving a life is all in a day’s work. I love this observation and appreciate all that our first responders do for us. Thank you for sharing with us, Mr. Balitsos, this particular story.

  4. Oldtimer

    It might be a surprise to know how many times first responders save somebody’s life and nobody thinks anything of it because it is “all in a day’s work” From EMT’s to lifeguards, to cops and firemen, and to all the people who work in emergency rooms, all over the country. I hope the lifeguards involved in the particular rescue read this letter and know somebody is not taking them for granted. Many times the lifeguards are very young people who worked hard to get certified, this is their first responsible job, and they don’t get paid much.

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