When they saw the swimmer in distress, the lifeguards piled into the pool of the Walnut Grove Community Centre.
Jim Davies frowned.
“They dove into the shallow end,” he said.
They aren’t supposed to do that, ever.
“I trained him,” Davies said of one lifeguard who failed to follow procedure.
“We’re going to have a talk.”
Davies was one of several judges at the 18th Annual Langley Lifeguard Competition on Saturday, the longest-running event of its kind in BC.
This year, 14 four-person teams of lifeguards took part in a variety of simulated emergencies.
Like real life, the competitors had no way of knowing what will happen when they walk into the pool area.
There were a number of actors mixed in with the regular swimmers, and without warning, one can simulate drowning, or being stung by a bee or any one of a number of situations that can happen to lifeguards in real life.
And like real life, there is no advance warning and it can happen all at once.
The difference is the judges who are never far away with their clipboards.
Outside the pool, the grassy space in back of the community centre was the scene of a different round of first aid scenarios that included performers portraying unhelpful and panicked civilians, like people with minor injuries distracting lifeguards from more serious but less demanding victims.
In all, around 150 participants, officials, and volunteers took part.
Initial results posted online show the first place team was a quartet of lifeguards from Delta, Burnaby and Coquitlam called “My Heroes.”
Second went to Heart Stoppers, listed as being from from Panorama, and third was claimed by “The Eh Team” from Abbotsford.