While conducting a routine rescue Aug. 15 at WindanSea Beach in La Jolla, seasonal lifeguard Gareth “Chappy” Chapman was struck by a four-foot wave in shallow water and driven headfirst into the ground. The crash broke several vertebrae in Chapman’s neck and back, which has left him unable to seek off-season work (read more about the harrowing experience in the Oct. 1 issue of La Jolla Light).
Chapman is expected to make a full recovery, but only receives $250 a week from the City of San Diego’s Workman’s Compensation program. To assist with financial burdens, including rent and medical expenses, the San Diego Lifesaving Association has started the SDLG Relief Fund and will hold a fundraiser, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30 at Galaxy Taco located at 2259 Avenida de La Playa in La Jolla Shores. Attendees will have a chance to socialize with lifeguards (including Chapman) and partake of food and drink.
“Seasonal lifeguards drop everything they have when the sun comes up (during the summer season) to keep our beaches safe,” said Lifeguard Association spokesperson Ed Harris. “They are the backbone of the lifeguard service and we need to take care of them.”
More information at (619) 733-1583