Pier jump gives junior lifeguards thrilling start to summer – Orange County Register

Some kids stood nervously looking down, soaking in the sight of the sea below before taking the plunge, while others jumped without hesitation from the San Clemente Pier.

Junior guard programs at beach towns across the region are kicking off, a rite of passage in coastal communities and a way for youngsters to learn ocean safety. Thousands of kids and teens will spend summer days learning about CPR and first aid, how to recognize if someone is in danger and how to understand ocean dynamics such as rip currents and waves.

Of course, the days at the beach are about the fun, too, with races and games held through the mornings and afternoons.

For junior lifeguard participants in San Clemente – currently is the first of three sessions to be held in coming months – Tuesday’s pier jump was a thrilling start to their summer vacation.

“As professional lifeguards, pier jumps are a valuable skill we have to safeguard lives. Pier jumps  are one of many opportunities in which the JG’s get a chance to overcome their fear and prove to themselves they can do it,” said Andrew Mansoor, San Clemente City Junior Guard coordinator. “Not to mention it’s a very fun time for them.”

Mom Tara Young showed up on the pier to watch her two sons, Taft, 12, and Shepard, 9, take their turns.

“I’m excited,” said Young, who recently moved to San Clemente from Oregon. “I knew they could learn more in this program than what I could ever teach them. We are not from the beach or the ocean.”

Her husband’s military job means constantly moving, so she wanted her boys to learn the beach lifestyle while they had the chance, she said.

“It might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for them, if we have to move away for jobs,” she said. “While we were here, I wanted them to literally jump in with both feet, into the culture.  It’s fun to see them succeed, overcome fear.”

Jayden Goodman was eating an acai bowl on the beach when she saw the junior guards ready to take the plunge, so she headed up to the pier to watch up close. It was an opportunity she didn’t have as a kid and was envious, she said, watching them jump.

“I’ve always wanted to jump off the pier,” said the college student who grew up in Ladara Ranch. “I want to be able to know how to save people if I need to. This is awesome to see them all doing this. Now you know you can do this, and safely…I want to learn to do this so bad.”

Jeff and Megan Anastacio showed up to cheer on their son, Sawyer, 13, who is a first-timer in the program. They just moved to the beach town from Washington and wanted their son to learn about the ocean and lifesaving so they could take comfort while he’s at the beach.

“We told the kids, they have to at least do it once since they live here,” said Jeff Anastacio.

So far, so good.

“Just one day in, he’s loving it,” added Megan.

She said she will feel much more confident that Sawyer will know what to do if help is needed, not just for himself, but also for others.

“It’s a responsibility thing,” she said. “If you’re going to be in the water here, you need to know what to do in it.”

#Pier #jump #junior #lifeguards #thrilling #start #summer #Orange #County #Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *