Bronze lifeguard watches the surf in Ocean Beach.

A bronze hero stands guard on the sand in Ocean Beach. The long OB pier stretches out into the Pacific Ocean in the background of this photo.
A bronze hero stands guard on the sand in Ocean Beach. The long OB pier stretches out into the Pacific Ocean in the background of this photo.

Not far from Ocean Beach’s main lifeguard station, a hero stands day and night with unblinking eyes focused on the nearby water. This noble hero is made of bronze.

The bronze lifeguard statue, created by artist Richard Arnold, was installed in 2013. It commemorates the creation of the San Diego Lifeguard Service after 13 people tragically drowned in dangerous rip currents off Ocean Beach in 1918.

The sculpture represents a typical lifeguard, with head up scanning the Pacific Ocean surf. It’s a very fine addition to a very cool beach neighborhood.

Colorado sculptor Richard Arnold, who grew up in OB, at one time was a junior lifeguard.

The muscular bronze lifeguard statue holds a rescue tube and a pair of swim fins
The muscular bronze lifeguard statue holds a rescue tube and a pair of swim fins
Colorado artist Richard Arnold created this bronze sculpture. It memorializes 13 tragic drownings in 1918, and the subsequent creation of San Diego's lifeguard service.
Colorado artist Richard Arnold created this bronze sculpture. It memorializes 13 tragic drownings in 1918, and the subsequent creation of San Diego’s lifeguard service.
Beachgoer with two boogie boards passes between the bronze sculpture and the main Ocean Beach lifeguard station.
Beachgoer with two boogie boards passes between the bronze sculpture and the main Ocean Beach lifeguard station.
A couple of surfer dudes carrying surfboards approach the memorial plaque, a few feet from the lifeguard tribute statue.
A couple of surfer dudes carrying surfboards approach the memorial plaque, a few feet from the lifeguard tribute statue.
Today, lifeguards in San Diego rescue between 4000 and 6000 people every year. They are real-life heroes.
Today, lifeguards in San Diego rescue between 4000 and 6000 people every year. They are real-life heroes.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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