“Hank was always there, always reliable, always a gentleman and at times the subtle sense of humor would pop out. See the ‘Guy’ in the back of the room with the sun glasses on. That’s Hank…..” Jerry Hawk
Following text from Steve Bro: Former San Clemente City Lifeguard Lieutenant Harry C. Barnes Ill, also known as “Hank” or “Bear” passed away December 7, 2020. Starting lifeguarding in 1960 and working until early 1974, he became an integral cog in the Department.
Between working positions in towers, the rescue boat, and units, he was well educated to become a permanent Lifeguard Lieutenant. Most of us first became acquainted with him during Lifeguard Training, when he conducted the classes on Communications, Codes, Report Writing and Administration.
Hank was probably the most even keeled individual in all of the upper administration levels of the Department. Whether you had pulled a stunt, caused a Departmental problem or had broken a General Orders rule, you knew no one would be more fair in dealing with you than Hank.
Perhaps his two year hiatus, serving as a Huey helicopter crew chief for an Army general during the Vietnam War, gave him a special perspective on how to deal with young troops/ lifeguards. While there was a Chief and a Captain participating in the Departments daily activities, Hank was the glue that held the Communications and Administrative side together.
He was cool under pressure, constantly calm and was always able to affect the assistance that Tower and Unit Guards needed to be successful. His ability to coordinate rescues and medical aids over the four operating divisions, comprising the 20 miles of beaches the Department covered, were lessons well learned by all
He was always on the lookout to mentor younger interested guards, spotting those with natural talent and a desire to move ahead in the Department. To those of us who worked closely with him, he evoked integrity, attention to detail, the insistence to do the job right, to do it correctly and to be proactive in rescue work.
It is fair to say that when Hank resigned in 1974, that there was a void created that was never truly filled. It was an honor to have worked for him and with him. Rest in Peace Hank, you’ve earned it. Steve Bro
In 1971 I was a young swimmer from an inland high school who was intimated by the larger-than-life beach/surf/lifeguards of the 60’s. Hank Barnes was the guy who reached across the locker-room caste system and made us all feel comfortable. (Larry Moore, 1971-85)