On March 5, 2016, more than two dozen candidates in wet suits gathered at Olde Port Beach in Avila on a cold and rainy Saturday morning to test their mettle at the California State Parks lifeguard tryouts.
In order to pass the test, recruits must complete a 1,000-yard ocean swim within 20 minutes, and a continuous 200-yard run, 400-yard swim and 200-yard run within 10 minutes. Some were new candidates, some were requalifiers--who only needed to complete the 1,000-yard swim.
The test alone doesn't guarantee a position. Candidates must interview for a chance to advance to lifeguard training. If selected, recruits go on to complete an eight-day, 80-hour program offered in May and June that includes training in first aid, CPR, and aquatic life saving and search and rescue techniques. According to state parks lifeguard Nick Tuttle, the state parks lifeguard test is considered one of the most rigorous lifeguard qualification programs.
All photos by David Minsky