Winter 2020 Update

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Winter is here! We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. The New Year brings new opportunities to spread the word regarding ocean safety and our fantastic lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard programs. Here’s to a safe and fulfilling 2020! As always, thank you for your continued support of our San Clemente Lifeguard & Junior Guard Foundation.

Thank You, Chief. Enjoy Your Retirement!

scljgfw1San Clemente Lifeguard Chief Bill Humphreys retired on December 31, 2019 after serving 42 years as a professional lifeguard for the City of San Clemente. He started his career as a seasonal lifeguard in 1977 and quickly moved up the ranks to a supervisor before being promoted to Marine Safety Lieutenant in 1988.  Bill has led the Marine Safety Division since 2001.

On January 21, 2020, the City Council recognized Bill for his 42 years of service. Several community leaders also spoke, praising Bill’s leadership, innovation, and partnership with the Coastal Advisory Committee, San Clemente Ocean Festival, Pier Pride, Friends of Beaches, Parks and Recreation and the San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation. It was a wonderful and heartfelt celebration of Bill’s dedication to our community and his profession.

Check out this video tribute to Bill – Click Here. The Orange County Register and SC Times also wrote about Bill’s career and service to our community. Click Click Here and Click Here to see these articles.

Chief Humphreys shaped what Marine Safety is today, due to his innovative vision and leadership. A few highlights over his career include gaining the approval for adding of one full-time lifeguard, and two benefited part-time supervisors to the team, founding the San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation, creating a community partnership program called Neighborhood Beach Watch and numerous equipment improvements and upgrades including the department’s use of drones and personal watercraft.

In addition to serving as Lifeguard Chief, in 2018, Bill was elected President of the California Surf Lifesaving Association (CSLSA). He will continue to serve in that role through 2020. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Lifesaving Association.

During the four decades of Bill’s career, San Clemente City beaches have had over 84 million beach visitors and lifeguards have made more than 75,000 rescues with only a single drowning. These statistics are an incredible accomplishment and testament to Bill’s leadership, his passion for protecting the public, and dedication to his career and the lifeguard profession.

Bill has been such an incredible, dedicated leader and role model to the men and women at Station 56. He has shown a tremendous amount of strength, integrity, respect, excellence, and professionalism throughout his 42-year career.

Well done, Chief. See you in the water!!

Welcome to the Helm, Rod!

scljgfw2Marine Safety Lieutenant Rod Mellott has been named Interim Lifeguard Chief.  Rod has 33 years of experience with the San Clemente Marine Safety Division and has been second in command since 2006. He was hired as a seasonal lifeguard in 1987 and rose through the ranks, becoming a lifeguard supervisor in 1995 before being promoted as a Marine Safety Officer in 2001. In 2006, he advanced to Marine Safety Lieutenant. He has vast experience with administrative and operational duties that will assist him in leading the division. Rod is married to his wife Laurie and they have two incredible children. Rod says he “Could not be more honored or humbled to take on this new responsibility.”

Marine Safety Headquarters Renovation Project Update

The Marine Safety Headquarters renovation project is underway.

scljgfw3The contractor started working on the project at the end of October. The contractor has finished replacing the sheet pile wall around the building and is currently in the process of repairing the foundation and beams. The work is to be completed before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The $2 million renovation will extend the life of headquarters by approximately ten years. Repairs will include rehabilitation of the roof framing, wood deck, timber guardrails, concrete repairs to the foundations and beams, slope protection under the building, sheet pile replacement, replacing the stone siding except for what’s on the clock tower with wooden siding, some window replacement, replacing the wooden ladder in the clock tower, and implementation of certain American Disabilities Act improvements.

Storyboards Tell the History of San Clemente Lifeguarding

scljgfw4We continue to compile documentation of the history of San Clemente lifeguarding. Did you know that on July 31, 1931, the San Clemente City Council officially formed the lifeguard department? It’s true! See this excerpt from the City Council ->.  Visit to learn more. While you are there, check out all the new additions to our heritage pages. If you have memories or photos to share, please e-mail us at and let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Well Deserved Recognition for Our Marine Safety Department and Team

scljgfw5Congratulations to our outstanding lifeguard department for receiving two awards at a recent City Council meeting. NOAA presented the department with a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service for their 10-year partnership with NOAA’s Rip Current Prediction Modeling Program. The department also received the United States Lifesaving Association Open Water Safety Achievement Award, recognizing 10 years with no drownings. Chief Humphreys noted that our lifeguards have made over 20,000 rescues during that time, with no lives lost. In presenting the award on behalf of the USLA, Mayor Dan Bane complimented Chief Humphreys and remarked that this type of recognition cannot be accomplished without strong leadership. We agree! Well done!

It’s Junior Lifeguard Registration Time

2020 Junior Lifeguard registration opens on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 8:00 am. All new Junior Guards must pass a swim test to be eligible to register for Junior Lifeguard Program.  Swim test registration opens Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 8:00 am.  For information, visit

Lifeguard Tryouts Are Coming!

scljgfw6Know anyone who would make an outstanding ocean lifeguard? Tryouts are scheduled for Sunday, February 23, 2020. Here is the link to information –…/ocean-lifeguard-trainee-oc…. Come on down and cheer on our future lifeguards. We’ll see you there!

Become a Foundation Supporter

For just $10 per year, you can join us in supporting our lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard programs. All donations are used to provide supplies and scholarships for San Clemente Jr. Lifeguards and to support San Clemente Lifeguards. To become a Foundation member, visit Thank you for your support!

Need a Speaker for Your Service Club or Event?

We would love to share the history of San Clemente lifeguarding, ocean safety tips and other information with your service club or group. E-mail us at and let’s set a date!

Please Keep in Touch!

We’d love to hear from you. You can always keep up to date on Foundation activities by visiting our website at, our Facebook page, or our Instagram page at . You can also e-mail us at Please help us spread the word by passing this information on to your friends. See you on the beach and in the water!


Fall 2019 Update

Click here for PDF version

Thank you for your continued support of our San Clemente Lifeguard & Junior Guard Foundation. Summer is over, and what a fantastic summer it was! Great weather and surf, and lots of activities. Now, it’s fall, when the crowds leave, ocean temps drop, and seasonal surf patterns change. Before we get too far into the new season, please join us as we recap Summer 2019.

A Word from the Chief

1029SCLJGF01I’d like to start by thanking each of you. Whether you are a supporter of our foundation, a parent of a Junior Lifeguard, a lifeguard, or a Junior Lifeguard, all of you play a role in keeping our beaches safe. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be able to partner with such a wonderful group of people.

Education, tools, training, and resources have all contributed to San Clemente’s outstanding safety record. The San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation has been tremendously supportive of promoting ocean safety through their generous donations. The foundation has provided equipment enhancements for our program, educational opportunities through scholarships, and allowed many families to participate in our Junior Lifeguard program who otherwise may not have been able to. Likewise, the foundation has provided support for our lifeguard program with supplemental equipment and personal gear for the lifeguards to support them in the field. Something all of our staff has appreciated very much. On behalf of Marine Safety and the men and women working here, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to you for your continued support.

You are truly making a difference in the lives of others.

Bill Humphreys
Marine Safety Chief

A Busy Summer!

Our San Clemente lifeguards were very busy again this summer. Here are a few statistics for Memorial Day through Labor Day. Great job Station 56!

  • 1,149 rescues
  • 21,344 preventative contacts
  • 26,996 public education contacts
  • 1,068 first aids, 7,367 ordinance enforcement contacts

And most importantly, another summer with NO LIVES LOST!


Meet Lifeguard of the Year, John Chetwynd

1029SCLJGF03Congratulations to Lifeguard of the Year, John Chetwynd. John was selected by his fellow lifeguards and was recognized at a lunch sponsored by the Exchange Club and our Foundation. John just finished his sixth summer lifeguarding and has been a JG instructor for five of those years. John is a senior at San Francisco State University, majoring in economics. He’s the head researcher for multiple studies, as well as the Vice President of the Economics Student Association. He’s also a big-time waterman and avid fishermen. Great job, John. Well deserved!


Another Fantastic Junior Lifeguard Program Summer

1029SCLJGF04The Marine Safety Department kicked off another incredible Junior Lifeguard summer on June 10th. More than 800 participants received education and experience in ocean safety, first aid, rescue techniques, body surfing, board surfing, body boarding, physical fitness, and Marine Safety operations.  Our Foundation provided 30 full scholarships for JGs that could not otherwise afford to participate in the program. We finished the summer off with our second annual Lifeguard/JG Surf Contest. The Surf contest was won by The Pigeons, led by JG Instructor Jaden Blanc-Hall. Congratulations, also, to JG of the Year, 15-year-old cadet Ian McKernan. Ian is a sophomore at San Clemente High. We’re looking forward to having him join the Station 56 team in the future. Special thanks to the San Clemente Kiwanis Club and Slyde Handboards for your support!

Our Foundation partnered with the City to produce a Junior Lifeguard promotional video. You can view the video at


Ocean and Beach Safety Awareness
We’re Getting the Word Out

1029SCLJGF05Increasing ocean awareness is one of our Foundation’s top goals. In addition to information placed in San Clemente hotels and restaurants by the Marine Safety Department, this summer we placed ocean safety posters in all of the trolleys serving San Clemente. We also were successful in having Metrolink conductors make a safety announcement on all San Clemente Pier stops. Thanks to the City of San Clemente and Metrolink for partnering with us!

Making Great Progress to Preserve Our Heritage

1029SCLJGF06We’re making great progress in preserving the heritage of Station 56 by archiving historical photos and capturing memories of our experiences as lifeguards and junior guards. Check out our website at There you will find Gallery and Storyboard pages that will take you back in time. Learn about the history of the Department, Tower 0 and Beach Patrol. Take a virtual HQ tour. Climb up the inside of the clock tower. Recently, we have added team pictures from 1958 – 1967, including the names of the guards in the photos. Thanks to Larry Moore and Jerry Hawk for making this happen.  We are currently researching history on how the lifeguards communicated in the early days. When did the PBX switchboard come into use? Anyone with information or pictures, please contact us at

Thank You, San Clemente Rotary

1029SCLJGF09On September 21, the San Clemente Rotary held a Poker Night to raise money for JG scholarships. The evening raised $2,500 This will allow eight San Clemente youth who otherwise could not afford the program to be JGs next summer. Thank you, San Clemente Rotarians!


Summer Role Model Series

This summer, we again partnered with the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center to provide community ocean awareness and safety programs. Together, we put together a three-event “Role Model” series where our young watermen and waterwomen met and heard positive messages from ocean lifestyle role models – lifeguards, top-ranked amateur and professional surfers, big wave chargers, SUP and lifeguards, paddleboard champions, ocean lifestyle ambassadors, environmental activists and local “legends.” Our first event on June 22 was titled Safety First! We followed that event with “Let’s All Share the Stoke!” on July 20 and “Girl Power in the Ocean!” On August 10. Many thanks to lifeguards John Chetwynd, Raselle Chetwynd and Sawyer Labbe who served as role models, and our sponsors, Bemus Landscaping, Kramer Orthopedics, South Coast Distributors, Dana Innovations and Stance.

Click here to listen to Role Model Dan Gudauskas talk about the importance of Junior Lifeguards at our Share the Stoke event –

The Positive Vibe Warriors Put on Another Epic Stoke O Rama!

1029SCLJGF12On Saturday, October 19, the Positive Vibe Warrior Foundation held the 8th annual Stoke-O-Rama at T Street. Young surfers and their families spent the day at the beach, participating in fun surfing competition, beach activities and just generally being stoked on life. Again, this year, the Positive Vibe Warriors will donate $10,000 to support our Junior Lifeguards and beach safety programs. Thanks so much, Positive Vibe Warriors. You rock! Photo by Max Weber.


Want Your Own Foundation Coffee Mug?

1029SCLJGF13We’ve teamed with to make Foundation gear available to you. Just go to  and order yours today! An easy way to support our activities.


Clean Ocean Program Grant

1029SCLJGF14Our Foundation recently received a $2,000 grant from the San Clemente Clean Ocean Program. The grant funds will be used to facilitate incorporation of Clean Ocean concepts into the Junior Guard training curriculum. Our goal is to increase knowledge, awareness and skills in watershed and Clean Ocean concepts. The grant money will be spent to provide education materials and motivational awards for accomplishment of learning objectives.

Become a Foundation Supporter

For just $10 per year, you can join us in supporting our lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard programs. All donations are used to provide supplies and scholarships for San Clemente Jr. Lifeguards and to support San Clemente Lifeguards. To become a Foundation member, visit Thank you for your support!

We’ve Updated Our Mission Statement

We recently updated our mission statement to reflect our commitment to preserving the heritage of Station 56.


The San Clemente Lifeguard & Junior Guard Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the safety and well-being of visitors to the beach through education, community partnerships, and providing resources to support the San Clemente Marine Safety Division’s Lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard programs. The Foundation also supports preservation of the history and memorabilia of San Clemente Lifeguarding.

Please Keep in Touch!

We’d love to hear from you. You can keep up to date on Foundation activities by visiting our website at, our Facebook page, or our Instagram page at . You can also e-mail us at Please help us spread the word by passing this update on to your friends. See you in the water!

~~~~~~~ June 2019 ~~~~~~

Welcome to Summer 2019

Greetings, SCLJG Foundation supporter and happy summer! The ocean temp finally hit 70 degrees, which means summer is finally here. South swells, beach crowds, Junior Lifeguards, and long days are what we wait all year for. Here’s what’s been happening with our San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation and a few things on the horizon.

Summer 2019 Update Newsletter

Thank you for your continued support of our San Clemente lifeguards, Junior Lifeguards, and our Foundation. Have a fantastic summer!

Gudauskas – Positive Vibe Warriors Donate $10,000


Through the years, the brothers have given $70,000, allowing the city to better serve beach goers who visit the stretch of coast at Orange County’s southernmost city.

“I refer to them as our ‘community treasure,’” Greg Hulsizer, president of the San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation, said of the Gudauskas family. “When you listen to them, they talk a lot about their experiences as junior lifeguards, learning about the ocean — not just surfing, but how to enjoy the ocean environment and how to give back and take care of the ocean.” Click Here For Article


Former Guard Jason Gardner Navy Seal


Gardner is a 1987 graduate of Dana Hills High who grew up in San Clemente and guarded our beaches in the late 80’s. He retired March 1, 2019 as a Navy command master chief in the Navy Sea, Air & Land (SEAL) teams. He spent three decades of assigments in places such as Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. Read Fred Swegles’ article in the SC Times here


Foundation Adopts a Channel – Linda Lane


Lifeguards and Junior Guards appreciate first hand the value of a clean ocean. They work and recreate in  that water. Lifeguards  start the day, while watching the water, by picking up trash, broken bottles etc. from the area around the tower. Although some of the debris is dropped by beach visitors, a lot is washed down from the “watershed” upstream from the beach. Orange County has partnered with individuals, non profit groups like us, and businesses such as Disneyland to help keep the ocean clean for everyone to enjoy. The “Adopt a Channel ” program is similar to the “Adopt a Highway program”. We are proud to be a part of that and hope to pass that healthy ocean ethic on to the Junior Lifeguards.


Gudauskas Family Recognition

Fri 2/21/2019

The Gudauskas family was recognized by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce at their Annual Meeting. Dane and Tom both spoke and acknowledged the work of our Foundation. The CM and council members Ferguson and Ward were in attendance.

They received award plaques from Congress, the city, orange county Board of Supervisors, and the state Senate and state assembly. In the picture you have congressman Mike Levin, county supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Senator Pat Bates, assemblyman Bill Brough and Councilwoman Laura Ferguson.

Fall 2018 Newsletter!

Greetings and welcome to fall! Yes, fall, which many of us think is absolutely the best time of year at the beach. It also seems like a great time to look back and see what’s been happening with our San Clemente Lifeguards and Junior Lifeguards.

Fall 2018 Newsletter

Thanks for a Great Summer 2018

Below check out

  • Jr Guard Summer Video
  • Jr Guard / Lifeguard Surf Contest
  • Shuan Tomson at Surfing Heritage Culture Center
  • Jr. Guard Cadets Trip to Catalina
  • Kiwian’s Jr Guard of the Year

Jr. Guard / Lifeguard Team Surf Contest


On Sunday, August 26, 2018 the Foundation sponsored a Lifeguard and Junior Guard team surf contest at the pier that was highlight of the summer for everyone. Six teams of three Junior Guards and one Lifeguard were randomly selected. For four hours they competed to the cheers of a large supportive crowd on the beach. Each contestant received a swag bag that included a contest T-Shirt, surf wax that was donated by E-Bodyboarding, a pair of cool socks donated by Stance.  Electric also donated a pair of awesome sunglasses that was awarded to the Junior Guard in the championship round with highest scoring wave.  Electric sunglasses also donated some T-shirts as well.

OC Register Unique Surf Contest

Championship Round was between the Shredders and The Sharks.  The Shredders took the title.

1st Place – The Shredders:  Sean Staudenbaur (Ocean Lifeguard), Chase Mellott (JG), Dylan Kline (JG), and Sophie LeBourgeouis (JG),

2nd Place – The Sharks:  Chad Biggs (Ocean Lifeguard), Luke Adams (JG), Heath (JG), and Hannah Arthur (JG).

Click on the link below to see photos from the contest.



Shaun Tomson Presents “The Code – The Power of I Will” for JG’s and Families

Sponsored by:

On August 18th Shaun Tomson presented his “Surfer’s Code – Simple Lessons for Riding through Life” which teaches the influence of positive values on success in life. A full house (200+) at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center including a floor full of stoked kids were held in awe as Shaun used stories from his legendary surfing career to encourage everyone to have a simple list of 12 “I will do this…” to make good decisions. All children received a free copy of his book “”The Code: The Power of I Will”. Afterwards Shaun stayed late signing books and meeting with his many fans.




JG Catalina Cadet Trip 2018

On August 18th The Foundation sponsored an end of the summer trip to Catalina for the JG Cadets. Seven (7) of our Cadets were able to do a pier jump off the Catalina express mole, tour the Avalon LA County lifeguard facilities and rescue boat from the Lifeguard paramedic crew on duty, snorkel and feed the fish at Lovers cove and the casino dive park, swim at Descanso beach, and play on the inflatable obstacle course at the main beach in Avalon. Three of the Cadets on the trip will be old enough and plan to try out to be a San Clemente City Lifeguard this coming spring!


JGYear18       handboard

Jr. Guard of the Year 2018 : Devlin Rowe

On August 10th JG Devlin Rowe was awarded JG of the year sponsored by San Clemente Kiwanis and the San Clemente Jr. Guard Foundation. Devin received a Slyde Handboard donated by and his name engraved on a perpetual plaque at San Clemente Lifeguard HQ.


Spring Grants and Donations

June 2018 The Foundation donated the following items for the San Clemente Jr. Lifeguards

  • Sponsored Cadet Jr. Guards end of summer training trip to Catalina.
  • Sponsored Jr. Guard competition team for the Regional Championships in July.
  • Donated funds for new GoPro Hero5 used for training and annual Jr. Guard Awards Event.
  • Donated funds for new Tug Of War rope.


May 2018 The Foundation donated $1,500 for security monitors that display live video feeds in the Lifeguard dispatch from the beach camera’s used to monitor beach and swimmer activity.


In May 2018 The Foundation was featured in the Summer 2018 American Lifeguard Magazine. American Lifeguard Magazine – Gudauskas article


In April 2018 the Foundation Board approved $4,000 grant towards JG Scholarships


In March of 2018 the Kiwanis Club of San Clemente donated $1,000.00 the the foundation in support of the Lifeguards and Jr. Guards.


In January 2018 the San Clemente Lifeguard/Jr. Lifeguard foundation received a $10,000 donation from the  Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation.

Link to Instagram Post…


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