Remember when we talked about “if in doubt, don't go out”? Yes I'm sure you hear it
a lot (not just from me), but it can't be said enough. You're not the only one you’re
putting in danger by risking it out there. If there is panic in the water, lifeguards are
rushing to the rescue, but not all rescue missions are executed so smoothly, and not
all lifeguards make it back to shore.
Last summer, a 32-year-old lifeguard in Newport Beach, California named Ben
Carlson ran to the aid of a struggling swimmer in 6-8 foot waves off of the Balboa
Peninsula. The rescue boat was present and the man was saved, but sadly Ben
Ben had been a lifeguard for 12 years and knew what he was getting himself
into. He knew the ocean and its dangers. But that doesn't negate from its tragedy.
Lifeguards take ocean safety very seriously. For Ben, it was the most important
thing. During his life, he rode monster waves from Oahu’s north shore to New
Zealand to Tahiti and so on.
In effort to make a positive movement out of his death, Ben’s friends and family have put together
Created and run by fellow lifeguards and a collection of loved ones, this foundation
provides scholarships, donates to youth programs and aims to ‘do positive work in
his memory’. It’s simple and purely aimed at making a better tomorrow- one baby
step at a time. A broad spectrum of ‘good’ is spread when making a donation to this
If you would like to donate to one of their causes, here’s what the money would be
Ben Carlson Memorial Scholarship – Each year, two $10,000 scholarships are
given to exceptional students, particularly those involved in lifeguarding programs.
The money is given directly to the schools/institutions, which goes towards tuition,
books, housing, etc.
The Ben Carlson Memorial Statue – The people at the BCMSF are planning on
installing a Ben Carlson statue by the Newport Beach Pier in 2015. The statue will
serve as a reminder that lifeguards risk their lives everyday- as well as a memorial
for a man who gave his life to save a strangers’. The tragedy took place on July 6th of
last year (2014), so here’s hoping the statue will be up and peering over the beach
and into the water by then.
Stoke – This program raises money and donates it towards causes aiding under
resourced youths. All donations to this foundation are carefully distributed to other
foundations and programs that are actively working with youths and creative a
better future for them.
For more information or to make a donation visit www.bencarlsonfoundation.org. If
you're short on cash no worries- I get it, the struggle is real. As long as you practice
ocean safety and are taking actions to create a better future for not only yourself,
but others (particularly those less fortunate or less educated than you), then you’re
already doing all that The Ben Carlson Foundation could possibly ask for.
Ben may have been the first lifeguard in Newport to die in the line of duty, but he’s
certainly not the first fallen lifeguard in history. Let’s help his friends and family in
their mission for good and let this be a lesson to all in the power and mercilessness
of the ocean.