Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Chad Carvin from the Central Section (right) and Ocean Lifeguard Matty Gallas (left) from the Southern Section paddle to the finish line. Photo by Ray Vidal, Easy Reader News.
The Southern Section of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division claimed their fourth straight championship in the prestigious Judge Irvin Taplin Medley Relay on August 5, 2017, in Hermosa Beach.
The relay was first held in 1936 and was part of the 56th International Surf Festival, held from August 2-6. Because the participants in this event are lifeguards, the race is held at night under spotlight so that safeguarding of beaches is not hindered.
Lifeguard services throughout Southern California form teams that include four swimmers, four paddlers, and a four 2-man dory team. The winning team keeps the “Taplin Bell” trophy until the following year’s race. All sixteen team members from the Southern Section had their names engraved on the perpetual trophy to mark their place in history.
Ocean Lifeguard Kevin Fink
Ocean Lifeguard Ryan Bullock
Ocean Lifeguard (Rookie) Will Abele
Ocean Lifeguard (Rookie) Wyatt Kircher
Ocean Lifeguard Matty Gallas
Ocean Lifeguard Jake Miller
Ocean Lifeguard Pat Jacobson
Ocean Lifeguard Jack Bark
Captain Tom Seth
Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Jeff Hart
Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Tyler Morgan
Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Dave Cartlidge
Fire Captain and Ocean Lifeguard Mel Solberg
Ocean Lifeguard Mike O’Donnell
Ocean Lifeguard Mike Wurzel
Ocean Lifeguard Jeff Lombardo