Junior Lifeguard tryouts and requalification times held locally, first time in programs history


TRINIDAD, Calif. (KIEM)- The North Coast Junior Lifeguard tryouts and veteran qualifying times were held at Trinidad State Beach over the weekend, for the first time ever.

“Just due to our remoteness we’ve typically always have gone to other places to do “re-qual” [requalification],” said Park Ranger and Lifeguard with California State Parks Keven Harder

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“This year we have the staff, and the folks, and the numbers, we decided to do our own.”

The rain and cold temperatures did not stop veteran, and aspiring junior lifeguards from showing up.

The vets were there for their 1,000-yearly recertification ocean swim, and the teens, hoping to clench a spot to go to Hunting Beach, to then compete for one of three coveted junior lifeguard jobs.

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“So, this is the first-year and we’ve been growing this program for the last 5 years,” said Harder.  

Abigail Costelo-Anderson is trying out to for one of those spots in the Junior Guard Program.

“I think it’s just something to like to take me my whole life, and to have the skills to be able to apply myself,” she said.

Costello-Anderson says being a lifeguard may not be a career goal, but what she’s learned so far, can be applied in any situation.

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“It’s nice that I can trust myself more and I can also trust myself to help others,” she said.  

Permanent lifeguard Dillion Clevenger says the program prepares youth to develop safety consciousness.

“And it’s a whole culture of water safety, where were trying to educate primarily the youth, to just follow the knowledge and education of the coast in this area to prevent tragedies,” he said.   

Just like Spenser Stratton and Adrian York who- in 2019 helped save two tourists from being swept away, were part of the crew who helped prevent a tragedy, both graduates of the Junior Lifeguard Program.

“In Humboldt we’ve seen a dramatic increase in tourism in the last couple years, and we are all expecting that,” said Clevenger.

Unfortunately, those who missed tryout will have to wait for their next chance.

“You have a year to prepare,” said Harder, “Happens once a year.”

To help support The California State Parks of North Coast District’s Junior Lifeguard Program click here.