I know for one if I saw someone screaming for help... guards or no guards I'd do my best to help them. For all I know they might not be able to swim and just got pulled out. If I'm already in the water, its that much closer than the life guards...
To be sure, it's hard to fathom how many lives have been saved by surfers while the guards are off duty or nowhere around. I suspect at least in part that's the reason the Ocean City, MD town council has been generally willing to work with surfers, hence the three surfing beaches and the modified beach rules (guard's discretion) on bad beach days and in the shoulder seasons.
In 46 years of surfing, I know I've helped my share of would-be swimmers to the point where they could put their feet down on the bottom and stand up on their own. Our willingness to help others speaks well of our sport.
Oh yeah, and one more question, are those jersey signs that say "Lifeguard Off Duty, swim at your own risk," written in Spanish as well?
Last edited by MDSurfer; Jul 30, 2008 at 03:31 AM.