Our Mission

ISLA EXISTS TO ADVANCE PROFESSIONAL LIFESAVING DEVELOPMENT TO AREAS IN NEED AROUND THE GLOBE.

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.

Volunteers

Our volunteer base started with four lifeguards in Huntington Beach, CA and has grown into a dynamic team of doctors, nurses, lifeguards, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency personnel from various agencies in several countries.

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

Learn more about our managers , our board of directors, and how you can become a volunteer.

 

OUR MISSION

OUR STORY

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).

ISLA SURF SHOP

ISLA pt

ISLA INTERNATIONAL LIFEGUARD TSHIRT

$26 Save 30% to 50%

The official ISLA PT gear is now available. Sport while representing your international lifeguard status.

swim the sea original watermen

Swim the Sea Women's Tee

$36 Members Save!

Made for women who love the sea. Enjoy this Original Watermen (for women) silky soft t-shirt.

voit duck feet swim fins

Voit Duck Feet Surf Fins

$56 Save 5% to 15%

The classic Voit Duck Feet Surf Fins. Unchanged for decades and still one of the best fins on the market.

4'10" Real Blackball Beater

$262 Save 10% to 20%

The Original Blackball Beater that led the revolt and put surfers back in the blackball zone.

The ISLA Whale Men's TShirt

$26 Save 30% to 50%

This shirt and the ISLA Whale stands for our love for the ocean, share your love with the ocean too.

Marine Rescue Patrol Can

$56 Save 9% to 33%

Marine Rescue Patrol cans and tubes are the best in the industry and the globe; beware of imitations!

KEMP Pediatric Spineboard

KEMP Pediatric Spineboard

$99 Members Save!

This pediatric spineboard is 100% X-ray translucent. A must for locations where kids are present.

original watermen stretch

Original Watermen Stretch

$54 Save 10% to 57%

Designed by Ocean Lifeguards for Ocean Lifeguards with some clever key features and a superior fit.

trauma bag

KEMP Trauma Bag

$58 Members Save!

Durable dual-density structural foam & strong nylon construction for the highest quality & long life.

INT softboards

7'0" Fun INT Softboard

$360 save 10% to 20%

A great beginner board, but you can put your back foot on the tail & crank the board off the top.

isla west coastin

ISLA West Coastin' TShirt

$26 save 30% to 50%

ISLA has a presence around the globe, but still calls California home. Represent those California roots.

SINCE 2008 ISLA HAS

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