Aptos and La Selva Beach contain many beach areas which are used by both tourists and local residents throughout the year. Rip tides and swimming accidents are a critical public safety issue. The beaches are staffed by State Parks lifeguards only during the busiest months of the year. In response to this issue, the District established the Aptos/La Selva Surf Rescue Team in 2003. Several District members participated in multiple ocean rescue drills and developed an operational response system for surf rescues. Today, the Surf Rescue Team performs surf rescues on a regular basis and has become a vital part of the local public safety system.
Division Chief Trevor Dirksen organizes training and provides program oversight while Captain Mike Kretsch manages the team. Each year, our rescue swimmers must complete numerous hours of documented swimming training as preparation for the physical exertion required in cold water ocean rescues. Team members also have to pass annual swimming and rescue skills tests.
Photos above by: Alison Gamel