Recently, a southern Florida lifeguard was fired for saving a drowning man who had been swimming outside of the lifeguard’s coverage zone. Thank goodness the lifeguard was close by and spotted the man struggling out in the water. If he had not been available, what could have happened to that poor man? You can only imagine.
It seems a bit unfair for the lifeguard to have been fired for committing such a heroic act, but the truth is it was also very dangerous. Leaving his designated protection area put him at risk and also left his station unguarded for the time it took him to go save the man’s life. The lifeguard has since been offered his job back, but it was not without careful consideration.
It’s very important to follow safety rules when you visit the beach. One of the most important rules is to ONLY swim in an area that is designated for swimming and has the protection of a lifeguard watching over you. The designated spots are chosen because the lifeguards feel they are the safest places to swim. Swimming outside of those designated areas puts you at risk of drowning. It also puts other swimmers in danger since the lifeguard now has his eyes scanning a larger area. Lifeguards can do their best work when they are looking only at the designated area assigned to them.
Another precaution you should always take is to never swim alone. Always have someone accountable for you and vice versa. Keeping yourself and your swim buddies safe out there will make everyone’s job a little easier. Lifeguards are on the beach to save you if you need it, but following the rules is even more important if you want to stay as safe as you possibly can in the ocean.