Lower Mainland lifeguards test their skills

An annual lifeguard competition in Langley saw dozens of them compete Saturday.

The rescues lasted just 30 seconds at the Walnut Grove Community Centre pool, with lifeguards tossing life preservers, pulling swimmers to the edge, and even rescuing a baby.

Then the whistles blew, the “struggling swimmers” got back in the water, and the whole thing was reset for the next team.

On Saturday, the 19th annual Langley Lifeguard Competition was held at the pool, with teams from all over the Lower Mainland competing for top honours as the best at first aid, water rescue, and fitness.

One of the competitors, Dan Marcotte of Coquitlam, was actually among the creators of the competition back in 1999, when the pool in Walnut Grove was brand new.

“It’s a blast, it’s a lot of nostalgia,” said Marcotte.

The day was broken down into a number of events to test a lifeguard’s skills, including:

• Individual first aid

• Lifesaving, in which teams of four try to rescue a group of people from a hypothetical water disaster

• A fitness event, including a race

• Group first aid

• Pool supervision events, to test the core skills of the participating lifeguards.

Marcotte, who worked in Langley Township rec facilities from 1994 to 2007, said the obvious answer in a lifesaving event may not be the right one.

The judges scattered around the pool with clipboards weren’t necessarily looking for the fastest rescue in a lifesaving event, but the best one.

The goal is to get everyone to safety, without endangering your team or yourself, Marcotte said. Just diving in and pulling someone to safety may be the most direct way, but not necessarily the best.

The event is a good way for lifeguards to meet one another and build some camaraderie, said Marcotte.

“It’s also a fun way to test your skills,” he said.

 

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Eagle tree cut down in South Surrey for ‘The Eagles’ development

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

TONIGHT: Grand finale of Concerts at the Pier

East Beach event set to begin at 7 p.m.

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read