Our Mission


Out of a deep passion for open water and a strong desire to prevent drownings, ISLA aids people in championing the aquatic safety situation in their own coastal communities. We do this through lifeguard training programs, lifeguard exchanges, equipment donations, purchasing connections, and utilizing the latest technology to sustain a global network of lifeguards that share information, techniques, stories, and culture. Our wish is to see friends and partners around the globe have the necessary tools to keep their water safe.

ISLA is a social justice driven organization that is young, innovative, not afraid to do things for the first time, and ultimately guided by the infamous mantra: “Safety third, winning and looking good are number one and two!” We adventure the globe with purpose, seeking to share life and help protect it. The global drowning epidemic compels us to action as we pioneer new ways to think about drowning in the developing world and effective solutions that will save thousands of lives. ISLA uses both ground-breaking technology and tried and true techniques; we follow in the tradition of those before us without fear to push it to a whole new level, constantly seeking to improve ourselves and the work we do. We welcome challenges and strive to leave a positive impact wherever we go.

Our team lives on the edge, is ready for any adventure, and is prepared for any situation. We live simply and we work hard, but that doesn’t stop us from watching the sun rise twice without sleeping, exploring new lands, surfing down volcanos, zip lining across the jungle, climbing into ancient caves, and trying the local brews with our new friends, all the while contributing to drowning prevention.

We are water people. We are lifeguards. We are globetrotters. We are activists.

We are ISLA.

LEARN MORE about the Global Drowning Epidemic!


Our volunteer base started with seven Junior Lifeguard Instructors from Huntington Beach, CA. Little did we know the vast amount of people from other lifeguarding agencies had the same idea, so the joined us! ISLA has grown into a dynamic team of lifeguards, doctors, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency & military personnel from various agencies throughout the globe!

Our operations started in Nicaragua, and have expanded into many countries in providing aid, support, and exchange programs in an effort to raise awareness of the drowning epidemic and save lives.

Learn more about our ISLA team and how you can:

Volunteer Lifeguard



Four Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard Instructors Peter Eich, Scott Hunthausen, Olin Patterson, and Henry Reyes started ISLA in 2008. The four friends wanted something to bond their friendships for life and to continue their for passion lifeguarding. The idea started as a realization when Scott returned home from a study abroad semester in Nicaragua where he experienced the drowning of his host family’s son, and witnessed the alarming drowning rates in the country during the 4-day Semana Santa holiday (Easter).



  • Conducted 10 lifeguard training courses
  • Performed 207 rescues
  • 1422 preventive actions
  • 180 medical aids in six countries