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Cape Cod Lifesaving Competition

“It’s a family,” says Johnson about being a lifeguard. “You sit in a chair with another lifeguard for six or eight hours and talk about everything.” A true testament to how the beach brings people together, especially on the Cape, Johnson explains that one of the best parts of his job is the people he gets to connect with on the beach or at the annual competition—the very same people he and other lifeguards work to protect. 

“The other week I saw people who we used to rent from in the ’60s. The woman was amazed I remembered her name because she remembers me in diapers,” says Johnson with a laugh. “I get to see people from throughout my lifetime at Nauset. And who doesn’t want to be on the beach all day?” 

“The beach is like my second home. Maybe even my first,” adds Miller with a grin. “I love the physical beauty of the seashore and the people I work with.” 

At the Lifesaving Competition, that sense of family is overwhelmingly evident. “A lot of it is about the older guards sharing the knowledge that we’ve gained over the years,” says Johnson about his involvement with the young competitors. “We instruct them on how to make a Line and Reel Rescue, a paddleboard rescue, how to competently administer oxygen and defibrillators, and when we’re training throughout the year we work closely with the fire department to learn things like how to apply a tourniquet. Now that we have sharks, the training has shifted and we have a heavy focus on first aid in addition to water safety.”

“Our lifeguards are trained to be fit,” says Miller. “Nothing helps that more than the Lifesaving Competition.” 

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