The K38 Lifeguard RWC Legacy Continues
Shawn Alladio – K38
November 22, 2013
I had the great fortune to first train a lifeguard from Huntington Beach City Lifeguard department way back in 1993 here in California. I am now training the children of the first generation lifeguards I trained in those days. In this class I trained the son of a lifeguard I have known for 20 years. They are one of my legacy agencies. It’s wonderful as a parent myself to be able to guide and mentor this new generation.
This was the second K38 class I have produced in 2013 for Laguna Beach City and Huntington Beach City lifeguards, along with instructor Dan Kaiahua whom is an excellent trainer and RWC operator. We had some good surf come through and enjoyed the night operations element. The student cadre in this group was exceptional.
Prior to going into field training Dan Kaiahua shared an experience during a prior RWC course for night operations when we responded to a sailboat in distress off the Beach. He reminded students to remain vigilant and professional at all times, a good practice, especially while conducting training.
The City of Laguna Beach has a professional marine unit that is committed to their beach safety as well as their personnel operations. Both agencies work together in mutual aid training and hold the bar high for their departments. I truly appreciate the investment and values these departments place in their RWC program.
The True Rescue Water Craft Pioneers
Long Beach City and HBLG were the first two agencies in the world who were introduced to Kawasaki Jetskis by my friend and our PWC community ‘grandfather of the sport’ Mr. Steve Strickland. Steve still works at Kawasaki Motors Corporation USA in Irvine and I get to see him quite often when I am there conducting business and checking in on the new product lines.
This is truly one of the historical agencies in the Rescue Water Craft lineage. Steve Strickland is an incredible person who is still charging hard into the 5th generation of the Kawasaki Jetski empire. Very few lifeguards or operators know the true history and background behind the leaders of this industry and whom we should pay homage to the rescue applications of Personal Watercraft.
Dan and I ran the class through their paces representing the K38 Way of Training. At the final day in the lineup next to where our class was training a body boarder took a wave and came up face down. 2 of the Huntington Beach lifeguards who were off duty but surfing nearby responded, and the man was brought in with no hope of recovery. Life suddenly gets real when we least expect it, so preparedness is essential to response and recovery. It is another reminder for us responders to be ever vigilant and to be thankful every day, as we too could succumb to the natural forces of life.
The revolution of personal watercraft has its roots invested in this lifeguard department. It is an honor to be their RWC instructor all these years. I am proud of this and thankful for their trust in our K38 training program.
Shawn Alladio-Lead Instructor
K38’s training programs evolved over the past 24 years; and currently enjoy support with 8 International K38 affiliates. Along with a cadre of professional NSBC boating safety instructors, K38 teaches Personal Watercraft and Rescue Water Craft courses in swiftwater rescue, big wave safety, PWC competitions, flood, open water, surf and disaster management for occupational lifesavers. K38 Maritime provides services for the Law Enforcement and Military communities.