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Kudos to lifeguards for helping to keep the public safe during peak swim season

Lifeguard training team

Seattle Parks and Recreation lifeguards work hard to keep the public safe during peak swim season.

Record-breaking temperatures have been plaguing Seattleites since the end of June, and there’s no relief in sight.

Seattleites have been clamoring to Seattle Parks’ public beaches, spray parks and indoor/outdoor pools to try and escape the heat. During the first 15 days of open public beaches, lifeguards made 29 water rescues compared to 14 at this time last year. Beach attendance numbers have nearly doubled since 2014. Our lifeguards have been working tirelessly to keep the public safe, and they’re efforts go largely unnoticed. Recently, a member of the public sent the Mayor a letter of commendation for Seattle Parks’ aquatics staff, and we wanted to share.

Kudos to all of our lifeguards and their hard work this season and always!

Dear Mayor Murray,

Last Thursday at the Rainier Beach Pool during adult swim hour I made my way to the vortex, a spinning pool to get some exercise. I have been diagnosed with RA ad one of my knees was unstable from pain and inflammation. The vortex pool is often used to rehabilitate people like me with limited mobility issues. I had used the vortex pool many times without incident. On May 7 I stepped into the vortex water and tripped over my bad leg causing the rest of my body to fall into the current. This was no fault of the parks department, the vortex or the lifeguards on duty. It was due to my inability to right myself because of my swollen knee. I was pulled to the bottom of the vortex and unable to surface which resulted in my taking on water and nearly drowning. I blacked out for a moment until I felt the arms of someone named Andrew swoop around my waist and pull me up to the surface of the water. I am not sure how much water I inhaled but it was more than I am accustomed to during my swimming routine.

It was terrifying, and if not for the immediate attention of the lifeguards on duty I have no idea how I would have freed myself from the current that had me at the bottom of the pool. The young man who pulled me up from the water held me and gently floated me to a safer place at the water’s edge. Andrew’s calm and reassuring skills helped me to regain some sense of what happened. Another lifeguard named Jarod worked with Andrew in making sure I was safe and out of harm’s way and out of the water. I cannot thank the City of Seattle enough for having such an amazing group of well-skilled and compassionate lifeguards at the Rainier Beach Pool. Andrew literally saved my life, and did so with so much confidence and concern that I wanted to tell you about it.

As I was leaving the pool registration area, Erin the pool manager took extra time to meet me and make sure that I was stable enough to leave. Eric should be commended for having such an awesome group of people watching over Rainier Beach Pool. Of course I will never attempt the vortex again until I am stable enough to swim safely in it. I have since been back to the pool for my daily exercise, and this is only because I am alive to do so.

I just wanted to let you know that the staff at the Rainier Beach Pool are friendly, helpful and very skilled in water safety, and for this I think the City of Seattle.

With gratitude,
Daniel Caracciolo

As a reminder, you can help lifeguards keep you safe by following these water safety tips.