Stories from Sea Level: The Heroic and Humorous Adventures of California's Ocean Lifeguards (Paperback)
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Stories from Sea Level is a hand-picked assemblage of truly exceptional ocean-related events which occurred within the 50-year span between 1969 and 2019. The lifeguards featured in these stories work for various agencies between San Diego and the Sonoma Coast. Of note, the lifeguards themselves provided the author with the details and specifics necessary to accurately immortalize their remarkable and dramatic events. This collection of their accounts are offered by the author as a sincere homage to all lifeguards (past, present, and future) who diligently patrol the California coastline ensuring the safety of the general public. Ten of these stories capture the details of daring rescues in which the lifeguards' performances were so exceptional that they personified the essence of valor. All ten of these events (as indicated in their accounts) earned the lifeguards prestigious Medal of Valor honors from the United States Lifeguard Association and/or the Governor of California. This award serves as formal recognition and acknowledgement of the highest level of courage and bravery in our profession. Balancing the gallantry and heroics, other stories serve to illuminate the whimsical nature of our profession and the comical shenanigans involved in our interactions with the public. They seem to exemplify the adage that "truth is stranger than fiction." Collectively, these accounts provide the reader with insight and appreciation for the diverse range of duties, responsibilities and joys that lifeguards encounter in the course of performing their duties on the iconic beaches of California. They expose the common bonds that lifeguards from all agencies share and hopefully provide the lay public with an appreciation for the unique skills and incomparable worth of our ocean warriors.
Praise for Stories from Sea Level The tales in Ed Vodrazka's riveting book Stories from Sea Level chronicle the entire range of experiences confronted in the course of working as an Ocean Lifeguard-the tragedies will bring tears to your eyes, the rescues will have you on the edge of your seat, the lighthearted stories will capture your heart and make you laugh. This amazing book recounts Medal of Valor rescues, unleashes some of lifeguarding's most unique and compelling characters, documents the heartbreaking fatalities, the friendships and the ironies, the twists of fate and the remarkable resolve of men and women performing extraordinary rescues in a perilous sea. Only Ed Vodrazka could have written this book, for the simple reason he is one of the best-known practitioners of the lifesaving discipline in California. He is one of the most affable, curious and artfully compelling people you'll ever meet. Anyone who has been a lifeguard in Southern California for the last 20 years either knows him or has heard of him. He worked for seven years on the notoriously dangerous North Coast of Sonoma County. His service on the beaches of California spans six decades. He has worked as a field lifesaver and a Lifeguard Training Instructor for California State Parks and Los Angeles County, and has taught EMT and First Responder courses for the City of San Diego Lifeguards. He is a highly coveted public speaker and EMT Instructor. There is no document that represents the full spectrum of the camaraderie, emotion and challenges confronted every day by Ocean Lifeguards more effectively than Stories from Sea Level. This book is mandatory reading for anyone who has an interest in the ocean and the people who make their living at its doorstep. Stories from Sea Level is a book worthy of spending time with. Mike Brousard, Lifeguard Chief
Huntington State Beach
San Clemente State Beach.