Huntington Beach/HB, known today as Surf City USA,is not only one of our nation’s busiest beaches but has a long and upstanding history in the professional development of lifeguards and lifesaving in America.
Author Kai Weisser, a Huntington Beach Lifeguard since 1979 and marine safety officer since ‘85, has brought together over 220 photographic images, with captions, that tell the story of the individuals, events, changes and growth within the organization that have helped shape and mold the HB lifeguards into one of today’s foremost marine safety agencies.
From HB’s first (unpaid) lifeguard George Reynolds, 1904-07, to the early pioneers that helped birth and grow the service until just past WWII, though most of these names would remain anonymous, are well worth spending time getting to know in the initial chapter including early rescue equipment, vehicles and H.Q. buildings.
From the late 1950s until present day, Huntington Beach has provided some of the most prolific personalities in the creation and evolution of the National Surf Life Saving Association/NSLSA (1964), now the United States Lifesaving Association/USLA (www.usla.org) and the World Life Saving Association/WLS (1971). (In February 1993 World Life Saving merged with the ‘Eurocentric’ Federation Internationale de Sauvatage/FIS (1910) to form the modern day International Life Saving Federation. (www.ilsf.org)
Max Bowman was elected the first secretary of the NSLSA in ‘64 and in ‘88 was elected as WLS president. Additionally, Doug D’Arnall was elected general secretary of WLS in’88 and Vince Moorhouse served as the first international liaison upon the formation of the WLS and was a founding member and later president of the NSLSA. Bill Richardson would also become the president of the USLA in 1992. Currently, Michael Bartlett is the editor of American Lifeguard magazine. (Thank you gentleman for your commitment & contributions to HB and beyond!)
From major surfing events, to local and international Lifesaving competitions, to an outstanding role model Junior Lifeguard program, to a Southern California beach setting, the Huntington Beach Lifeguards have a story of vigilance, dedication and service that few can match.
“Huntington Beach Lifeguards” is the fifth ‘Lifeguard history’ from Arcadia Publishing/ Images of America series. The four other books include “Ocean City Beach Patrol” by Fred Miller 2004, “Los Angeles County Lifeguards” & “Santa Monica Lifeguards” both by Lifeguard Historian Arthur C. Verge 2005/2007 & “Lifeguards of San Diego County” by Michael T. Martino 2007.
Each of these books are well researched and wonderfully presented. Each contain a concise amount of information and are well illustrated with long forgotten and/or rarely seen photographs of individual’s, beach and ocean views and especially enjoyable images of vintage rescue equipment, vehicles and Lifeguard H.Q.s from the earliest recorded days of the agencies and organizations represented.
These books are $19.99 and are available at local retailers, online bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.
Here’s to hoping for future books in the series including but certainly not limited to Lifeguard histories from Atlantic City, Chicago, Santa Cruz, Miami Beach, Wildwood, Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Jacksonville and other points in between.