It’s not Baywatch, but a Lifesaving Association fundraiser

Participants in the 4th Annual Beach Flags Fundraiser held by The St.Augustine Lifesaving Association (SALA) go for the flag at the St. Johns County Ocean Pier on Tuesday, May 27.

Participants in the 4th Annual Beach Flags Fundraiser held by The St.Augustine Lifesaving Association (SALA) go for the flag at the St. Johns County Ocean Pier on Tuesday, May 27.

By Jeremy Watkins of St. Johns County Marine Rescue
On Tuesday, May 27, the St.Augustine Lifesaving Association (SALA) hosted its 4th Annual Beach Flags Fundraiser on St.Augustine Beach next to the Pier.
The SALA is the St. Johns County Chapter of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), the SALA and USLA are nonprofit organizations whose mission is to assist the county lifeguard service decrease reduce the incidence of death and injury in the aquatic environment through public education and high levels of training.
One method that the association has used to help accomplish its goals is by hosting a Beach Flags Competition — a lifeguard racing game where competitors start from a prone position facing away from the flags in the sand, and when a whistle is blown, competitors rise and turn to sprint and obtain a baton (beach flag) buried upright in the sand approximately 20 meters away.
Since there are always fewer batons than competitors, those who fail to obtain a baton are eliminated. Rounds continue until a winner is determined. Beach flags is a fast paced and exiting event for both runners and spectators.
This event serves as both a way to showcase the lifeguard’s reflexes and stamina used in lifesaving techniques, as well as assist the association with a fundraising opportunity for beach safety equipment, public education and competition. More than 100 spectators gathered on the beach near the St. Johns County Ocean pier to watch the competition.
This year’s event brought in over 25 male and females from St. Johns County Marine Rescue, Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue, as well as non lifeguard affiliated competitors.
The 2014 Top Female was Nicole Emerson of Jax Beach and Top Male Dylan Cariero of St. Johns County.
To find out more about upcoming events, contact Watkins at guardwatkins@yahoo.com and (904) 484-4514.

 

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