Product Review: Original Watermen Lifeguard Tonga Hat

Posted on: May 17th, 2015 by Henry Reyes No Comments

Lifeguard Tonga Hat

Hats are essential for all lifeguards. We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the harsh UV rays. The Tonga Hat from Original Watermen allows for 360 degrees of coverage.

For the ISLA project in Nicaragua we knew it was going to be hot. The Tonga hat kept the sun off my face and kept me cool. I normally wear a baseball cap to guard in but when we were given the Tonga hat it was a no-brainer as to what I would be using. I used the hat every day we were on the beach and my face, neck and ears did not get burnt. It also surprised me how cool the hat was, temperature wise.

The hat was very durable. The chin strap helped secure the hat on my head, as it was very windy. There were a couple of times I took the my hat in the water and I was worried what the salt would do to it, to my surprise it held up very well. The eyelets did not rust and it was even free of salt stains.

Upon returning home, I knew my hat needed to be washed do to how much I had worn it. So I threw it in the washer on a delicate cycle. The hat came out good as new. I laid it flat to dry. I recommend the Tonga Hat to all guards to help protect your skin!

Original Watermen Tonga Hat
Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★
Price: $10.50 (without embroidery)
Durability: A+
Performance: A+
Fit/Cut: A
Style/Swagger: A+
Comfort: A+
Price/Value: A+

Final Word: Great hat, for a great value!

– Alexis Fender

May 15th is International Water Safety Day

Posted on: May 13th, 2015 by islasurforg No Comments

“Striving to make a planet that’s 70% water, 100% water safe.”

About International Water Safety Day
International Water Safety Day (IWSD) is celebrated on May 15th each year and is designed to help spread global awareness of the ongoing drowning pandemic, and educate the youth in becoming safer in and around water. The lack of water safety education has propelled drownings worldwide and is why IWSD is a global team effort to make drowning preventable. IWSD is proud to announce several global events taking place on May 15th, 2015. These are a few of the many examples of how IWSD is celebrated around the world:

Safe Greece
Dr. Stathis Avramidis’ project will reach nearly 500,000 school children in Greece to teach Water Safety. The event is endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Hellenic CDC, International Swimming Hall of Fame, Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, Hellenic Federation of Underwater Activity, and International Awards Guiseppe Sciacca.

Bridging the Hydrological Divide
Diversity in Aquatic Programs will celebrate International Water Safety Day at the Jim and Jan Moran, Boys & Girls Club, Deerfield Beach Florida. A collection of aquatic professionals from across Broward County and the nation, will gather to interact with the children ages 7-14, to educate and practice some basic water safety skills, as well as showcase and promote the plethora of Safe Water Sports, activities, and professions in the classroom environment.

IWSD in Jamaica
A team of Aquatic Professionals along with Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson-Wignall will present International Water Safety Day in Kingston, Jamaica. The team will make an impact on hundreds of students teaching our 10 #WaterSafety Rules in classroom settings.

Water Safety Awareness Workshops
In recognition of International Water Safety Day, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is conducting citywide Water Safety Awareness Workshops from Saturday, May 9 through Friday, May 15 with Parks aquatic program participants attending including parents of tots, children, adults, senior citizens, swim team members and those with disabilities. The Water Safety Awareness Workshops will reach over 5,000 children.

Water Safety Carnival
International Water Safety Foundation teams up with Sail Nauticus and Norfolk Public Schools to put on the 1st Annual Water Safety Carnival. Discussions on lifejacket safety, boat safety, sailing knots, and a life ring toss will be addressed. Two-time Olympic swimmer Dr. James Walsh will be guest speaking.

How You Can Show Support on May 15th:

  • Use the hash tags #watersafetyday and #stopdrowning on social media
  • Share our Drowning Pandemic video (above)
  • Download a badge from IWSD website to add to your blog our webpage
  • Wear BLUE
  • Connect and become active with the local aquatic professionals, enthusiasts, coaches and athletes in your area, to create your own International Water Safety Day Event for next year

Go to for more information on how to host or sponsor an #IWSD event!

International Water Safety Day

Water Is Life For Me, It’s Made Me Who I Am Today

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by raquel No Comments

Meet ISLA’s volunteer global lifeguard, Nick Schriver. He joined ISLA for our 2015 Nicaragua Lifeguard trip, check out his ISLA Experience…

Nick Schriver

What can you tell us about yourself?

I am a waterman – I love to swim and will get in just about any body of water and “navigate the waters,” swimming, free-diving, scuba diving, paddling, boating, and surfing. I am a water baby, and water is life for me, it’s made me who I am today. There is no better feeling of inner space, the closest thing to outer space. Pools, lakes, bay, the ocean, what have you… I gravitate toward the water and wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t sort out life challenges while swimming and thinking about them. Keeping the lifeguards stoked on swimming is always one of my objectives, reminding them of the essence of the job and getting in the water to swim every chance they get. No cats allowed and “you’re getting in the water today.” Oh and I like the smell of chlorine on my skin

My two main hobbies are snowboarding and surfing, depending on the season, any free day that I have, I spend it doing those sports. I have a 6 y/o son and have recently taught him to be water safe and ski the mountain top-to-bottom by himself. Passing on the “stoke,” one of my life goals – check. My dedication into life is for him; I do the best I can as a parent.

The meaning of life for me is to be able to influence and impact as many lives as possible thorough my family, friends, lifeguards, work, hobbies, and public. Being able to move on and see the impact I’ve made, passing on whatever it may be to the next generation, also through sharing my walk of life and being able to talk about and share life’s peaks and valleys, lessons learned, and passion for life.

I love my career in public safety, I’m an Aquatic Supervisor and Fire Lieutenant and am “living the dream” to be able to have a direct impact on society, teach lifesaving and directly and indirectly see the impact I’ve made on lifeguards and lives saved, those aspects make me thankful for my life and influence. I’m passionate about life and although I love my job, “I work to live.”

I have been lifeguarding for over 21 years and was hired as a career lifeguard in 2001. I consider myself a swimmer by trade and attribute making a career out of lifeguarding my hard work, grit, successes, and passion for lifesaving. I work for the East Bay Regional Park District – Fire Department/Lifeguard Service – we are open water lifeguards, lifeguarding at lakes, reservoirs, bay, lagoons, and pools, catering to a population of approximately half-a-million visitors annually.

When did you start lifeguarding?
When I was a kid I stared up at the lifeguards in their towers as if they were superheroes; I was in awe and forever inspired. I started lifeguarding in 1994 at Lake Anza, Tilden Park, East Bay Regional Park District, – Berkeley, CA. I chose this noble work work because I could use my swim talents to the fullest while aspiring to make a difference in society.

What is your favorite beach?
Francis Beach – aka “Kelly Beach”, Half Moon Bay State Beach, CA

What is your favorite aspect of being a lifeguard?
Being able to detect and make life-altering decisions in a matter of critical moments and decisions that will determine survivability outcomes. As a leader in lifeguarding I love working with adolescent lifeguards, I feel I have a direct impact on the future of our society through influencing them and the difference that they can make in the future; they endlessly challenge my wit and physical abilities keeping me young.

Nick Schriver

What inspires you?
My son, family, loyalty, righteous peeps, snowboarding, surfing, my job, scaring myself on open water swims, and life-fitness. And… hitting a long-ball straight drive golfing.  Inspiration is making a difference through lifeguarding; knowing that you can look at a life saved and know that they will go home to their family.

Why did you get involved with ISLA?
ISLA is doing work in a field that is underdeveloped and still young as far as advancements and addressing an underrepresented global problem/disease – drowning, and preventing it. I wanted to get involved so that I could increase drowning prevention awareness on a larger scale, being able to influence lifeguards through prevention, pro-activeness, and training. When I first heard a presentation from “Lifeguards Without Borders” at the Surf Lifesaving Training Officer Academy in Florida, I gained a new perspective on the drowning epidemic and how there is much work to be done not just at locally, but globally; I wanted to put my newly acquired skills and knowledge to work with ISLA. Nicaragua has always been on my bucket list and is right up my alley because I love Latin America and I love to speak Spanish – it’s in my blood, I’m half Peruvian. ISLA enables me to use all of my passions and talents to contribute to society on a much greater scale.

What interests you the most about ISLA?
The positive work ISLA is doing is motivating and innovative, it’s truly where the “rubber meets the road” as far as the work they’re doing. I love the idea of helping lifeguards and people in other countries and bonding a shared mission.

What was your 2015 ISLA Experience like?
It was certainly more than I expected, meeting a group of new lifeguards from all over made the first part of the trip so much fun, the lifeguard culture is fun and extreme, such a unique group and life-long friendships were molded. Once we got our assignment it was a fight against the elements of the heat, sun, and staying hydrated. It was taxing to work long days being in the sun and drinking warm water, and then having trouble sleeping because it was too hot and you were too excited for what the next day had in store. Because I speak Spanish I was translating non-stop, much like a diplomat, mainly for training, but also helping bridge the gap between the non-Spanish speaking ISLA volunteers and the Red Cross. We had one action-packed day of several rescues and a resuscitation; that was the highlight of the trip – saving a drowning victim’s life, knowing that we did more than what we expected to do. However what resonates even more was the Nica culture, making life-long friendships, training with the Red Cross Nica lifeguards (up at the crack of dawn), sharing ideas, and motivating each other.

What was the most memorable about your 2015 ISLA Experience?
The crazy action-packed day with my ISLA partner Chris Angelotti, where we had several surf rescues and the resuscitation of the drowning victim; at the end of day just before the last rescue, looking at him and say “What the…?”

Can you share any stories with us about your Nicaraguan trip?
From the first time I met our veteran volunteers Dave Wags and Hannah Wrenn I could sense their excitement and how it built as we got closer to the beach and our assignment. The first morning on assignment at Jiquilillo beach Hannah woke up at 5:00am and sprung out of bed with the most enthusiasm I have ever heard and said “it’s 5 o’clock everybody get up” – like it was Christmas! Her energy was contagious, even at 5:00am… Now I get it now, that will be me next time.

Nick Schriver

What is lifeguarding during Semana Santa like?
Lifeguarding at Jiquilillo beach was awesome because of the Nicaraguan Red Cross and how well organized and motivated they were. The days were long and we were up at 5:00am to train and then lifeguard side-by-side with the Nicaraguan Red Cross lifeguards, sharing ideas, influencing each other, and making a difference through preventive actions, rescues, and lifeguard strategies. It was fun to go on walking patrol and to mingle with the Nicas, making prevents and telling them about ISLA and what we were doing. Semana Santa was exhausting in a good way, putting in work, knowing that you are truly making a difference and helping modernize the Nicaraguan Red Cross lifeguard service through our influence.

What was the highlight of this year’s trip?
Being my first ISLA trip, the entire trip was a highlight but three high points would be: arriving and meeting all the volunteers, receiving our beach assignment, and going on a surf trip with three other volunteers. Each was a highlight because of the anticipation, the unknowns, and fun. But the action-packed day of making rescues and saving the drowning victim’s life at the beach was truly the highlight that sticks out the most.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining an ISLA trip?
Hold on for a wild ride! Mentally and physically prepare yourself for a marathon, so that you can endure tough elements of being in uncomfortable situations for long periods of time. Be patient, flexible, and of course put a smile on your face because “winning and looking good are number one.” Just as it was for me, the trip and experience will be one of the most fulfilling and impactful things that you will do in your life, it may even be life-altering and you will go back home a changed, more inspired, and passionate person. The trip will remind you about what it means to be a lifeguard and the difference you can make both small and big. Lastly, bring your best sunscreen!

How will you continue to prevent drowning and create Awareness for the global drowning epidemic after your ISLA Trip?
I plan on carrying forward the message and creating awareness of drowning being a disease that is misunderstood and underrepresented, changing perspectives and understanding on the topic and the difference we can all make as lifeguards and humanitarians. We can all work together to make a positive impact in the global drowning epidemic. I will work to be able to connect with our Hispanic park visitors, speak to them in Spanish, educate them and move towards making them water safe and teaching them to wear lifejackets. This awareness needs to be made at local, state, national, and international levels so that more progress, research, and development can be made to better understand the impact of drowning. Lastly the way that “Lifeguards Without Borders” is training and educating lifeguards on how to treat and resuscitate drowning victims is radical, enlightening, innovative, and inspiring. We as lifeguards need to understand this movement and recognize that we are “resuscitationists” and have a few critical moments to make life-and-death decisions. I want to help train lifeguards and spread their message and methods.

Describe yourself in three words.
Deliberate, versatile, humble


Want to join our team of International Lifeguards? Want to help #StopDrowning?

Are you someone passionate about helping others? Interested in traveling the globe as a humanitarian lifeguard? Signing up to our newsletter below is the 1st step!

Volunteer Lifeguard

DO IT, You Will Definitely Not Regret It

Posted on: April 22nd, 2015 by raquel No Comments

Meet ISLA’s volunteer global lifeguard, Vasili Pleqi. He joined ISLA for our Nicaragua Lifeguard trip for the 2nd year in a row. Read more about him and his 2014 and his 2015 ISLA Experience…

Vasili Nicaragua

When did you start lifeguarding?

I started lifeguarding in February of 2012, when my swim coach/Jr. Guard Director for 5 years in a row told me, “You will make a hell of a lifeguard, you have everything you need to be successful”, ever since then I learned that lifeguarding is way more than just looking good, talking to opposite sex on the beach, and partying everyday after work.

What can you tell us about yourself?

Right now I am a LG Training Instructor. I have been an Jr. Lifeguard Instructor for 2 years, Graduated from Ponte Vedra High School in May 2014. Graduated from First Coast Technical College with an EMT-B technical certificate in Dec. 2014 (waiting for NREMT exam to be scheduled) I am currently a Full Time student at Florida State College in Jacksonville Nursing is my major.

My professional life goal is to move up the ranks of the Ocean Rescue Dept. while in school and traveling, and in 10 years I see myself being a Physician Assistant and working in the Emergency Room.

Another life goal for me is to visit as many countries possible and experience different cultures, that is why I will continue to be an active member of ISLA.

Some of my favorite hobbies are hiking, rowing on my free time, and reading non-fiction novels.


Vasili Pleqi

What is your favorite beach?

Beside the Glyfada (the beside where I grew up in Greece), Ft Lauderdale is my favorite beach, it brings memories from Greece, lots of people year round, stores, restaurants and bars on the board walk. Although, nothing is better than camping out on the beach in a tropical country.

What is your favorite aspect of being a Lifeguard?

Being able to put together all the things you love and are passionate about.

How did you first get started with ISLA?
I found out about Isla from one my co-workers Taylor Anderson upon his return from ISLA’s 1st Eastern Europe trip.

What interests you most about ISLA?

Besides traveling, There is nothing better than making new friends, sharing stories, learning new ways to rescue people, and most importantly being part of a taking to underdeveloped countries improve their lifeguard operations.

What was your ISLA experience in 2014?
I had an incredible experience with the crew. I got to bodysurf some of the biggest waves, made new friends, exchanged lifesaving techniques with the team, and quickly learned to appreciate all the resources we have here stateside. My #1 tip for your next ISLA to be patient and have fun.

What was your ISLA experience in 2015?

The experience was one of a kind! We had an awesome group of lifeguards from Massachusetts, N. S. Carolina, Florida, California, and Australia. It was a good feeling to be able a make a difference in the community of Poneloya, Nicaragua with our presence at the beaches. We were able to interrupt the process of drowning to a few, and that alone I am very proud to be an ISLA member and honored to be selected to go two years in a row.

What is lifeguarding Semana Santa (Easter) like?

Chaos with long and hot days! It is definitely not the type of lifeguarding we do back in the states, the way EMS works, and scope of practice! If I had to describe it in one word I would say “IMPROVISE”, work with what you have! It’s amazing how you only need a BVM to interrupt the process of drowning, compared to all the advanced equipment we use back home.

How will you continue to prevent drowning And create awareness for the Global Drowning Epidemic (WHO Estimates 375,000+) after your ISLA trip? 

After coming back from my trip, I will be continuing to host water safety workshops in my city, and collaborate with the ARC, and the ARC Project an organization from the Great Lakes with swimming lesson events, and surf camps. Project Wipeout has been very supportive on this cause and has been sending a lot of educational brochures, posters and coloring book to be used and passed out at our Water Safety Events throughout the city.

Vasili Pleqi

Describe Yourself in 3 words.

Responsible, Confident, Adventurous

What inspires you?

What inspired me to continue these trips is the good times we all have, saving lives, giving back to the local communities we work with, and the great opportunities to see the world! Pretty much what the US Navy says ” Join the Navy, and see the world”

What you you say to someone who is thinking about joining an isla trip?

DO IT, you will definitely not regret it! Heres 3 tips If you join next years Semana Santa team, #1 Watch Dr Justin Sempsrott lecture on drowning, it will definitely come in handy. #2 Pack very light, #3 Work Hard, Party Hard! #4 Don’t be the first one to go to bed.

Want to join our team of International Lifeguards?

Are you someone passionate about helping others? Interested in traveling the globe as a humanitarian lifeguard? Signing up to our newsletter below is the 1st step!

Volunteer Lifeguard

Thank you Miss Lifeguard for Saving My Life!

Posted on: April 13th, 2015 by raquel No Comments

Meet ISLA’s volunteer global lifeguard, Hannah Wrenn. She joined ISLA for our Nicaragua Lifeguard trip for the 2nd year in a row. Read more about her and her ISLA Experience…

Hannah Wrenn Nicaragua

When did you start lifeguarding?

I have been a lifeguard since I was able to start working. I began competitive swimming at the age of 6; and I always looked up to the lifeguards(literally). It was living on an island that brought the interest in Ocean Rescue/lifeguarding upon me. I enrolled in the Junior lifeguard program since I wasn’t old enough to really get into the work at the time. And fell in love. One year before I was officially of age to work on the beach; I received a phone call from the supervisor/ Jr LG instructor asking me to work, in hopes of me being old enough. But sure enough, the next year I was there. With a 5+ year record, each year I was moving on up; supervising opportunities, Jr LG instructing, training, and regional LG competitions.In the midst of guarding for the beach, I also worked part time as a head guard at our local YMCA. I attended EMT school, after a couple years of attending FSCJ.

What can you tell us about yourself?

Myself, I am a bubbly person whom was raised on an island. I believe my ultimate goal and purpose in life is to help. From helping people with working as a lifeguard, and EMT to my current work now; working in a non for profit local Humane Society. We do both of helping the people and the animals. I intend my life goals to continue to follow my path of whatever makes me happy, do it. I will be (hopefully) attending Vet school this upcoming summer. This is one of my many hobbies; I love caring for animals just as much as people in need. Sports, I swim and play volleyball, and love to cook food and spend time with my family, and furbabies.

What is your favorite beach?

My favorite beach would have to now be when we went/stayed at Jiquillo last 2014 Semana Santa. I have never seen such perfect barreling waves (as our little island never gets those), bright colorful seashells, clear brisk waters, with a sunset that I will never forget being so warm as the waves roll all the way up to the rocks at sundown.

What is your favorite aspect of being a Lifeguard?

“Thank you Miss Lifeguard for saving my life!” There was a specific rescue I had, where a young boy came up to me a couple hours later…after being so scared and thanked me for saving him. I’ve had this happen on numerous occasions but this specific rescue, I will NEVER forget.


How did you first get started with ISLA?

I had worked as a lifeguard for Amelia Island, City of Fernandina Beach Ocean Rescue. A fellow mentor, supervisor, guard, instructor and friend, Angela Ray, had told me about that there are opportunities to take our services even further, and I was all ears. The experience, the travel, and the mission was too intriguing not to be interested! She let me know when the application had opened for the 2014 Semana Santa trip;and I was actually in my Marine Biology lab, and I got right on the site, and applied!

What interests you most about ISLA?

It is so rewarding to be able to help people in a way that not many people have the ability to aide in. The mission. The mission to spread the education, word, and hearts from our lifeguards to theirs. The relationships that we built with the Nicaraguan lifeguards will never leave my heart. The ways we were able to help them with equipment, shows that we can make a difference throughout the world with drowning prevention.

What is it like lifeguarding during Semana Santa (Easter) in Nicaragua?

Lifeguarding during Semana Santa is indescribable! The people, the food, the sand, the waves, the activities, the culture in all and so much more is nothing like I’ve ever seen. It was a thrill and rush to see those big waves compared to what we have here on the east coast of our small island.

What was your 2014 ISLA Experience like?

My 2014 ISLA trip experience was entirely eye opening. I had never been out of the country before, so I felt nervous and excited all at once. I was honored to be able to go to another country to aide in drowning prevention for such a huge holiday. I will always remember the amazing people and friendships I established.

What was the most memorable about your 2014 ISLA Experience?

Last year in Nicaragua, whew!..There are too many stories! I’d say my most memorable would be starting with our lake tour through Granada. I had never seen such unique ways of living, on all the separate islands. The scenery, and wildlife was breathtaking. Then we got to jump in and splash around at the end of the tour. In the middle of the trip, during a day of guarding in Jiquillio, Lauren Badenhoop, Angela and myself saw an elder sea turtle. Lauren and I went out and swam with it! And to end, I had a shower of emotions come over me during our last breakfast with the Nicaraguan Red Cross lifeguards. We had so many laughs, hugs, said our goodbyes, took pictures, and presented them with our equipment and we even gave them some of our personal things to remember us. I made many friends over there and on the ISLA team that I will remember for a lifetime.

The highlight of this year, is going to be seeing everyone again. And body whompin some huge waves!

Hannah Wrenn Nicaragua
What was your 2015 ISLA Experience like?

Overall, I can’t wait to embark on more endeavors with International Surf Lifesaving Association in other countries.. This mission is growing year by year, and to reach out more internationally is the ultimate goal. I hope to see ISLA representatives on the East Coast here soon!

What was the most memorable about your 2015 ISLA Experience?

My most memorable experience of this year was the amount of preventives, assists, rescues and aides we were able to provide this year. This is what we are there to do and it is such a rewarding, fulfilling feeling to be able to help those in need. Not only the patrons of the beaches, but the local Red Cross Guardavidas y Soccoristas :)

What was the highlight of this year’s trip?

My highlight experience this year would actually have to be, reconnecting with all of the friends I made in Nicaragua during my 2014 trip. They are all so loving, welcoming and eager to learn. Seeing the improvement and focus from last year to this year with the Nicaraguan Red Cross guards was highly impressive. You can tell they worked hard with training throughout the year in preparation for another busy Semana Santa

Can you share any stories with us about your 2015 Nicaraguan trip?

At the chapter/beach my group was stationed at Jiquilillo. 2 guards at tower 1, successfully resuscitated a man who had in took took much water after one too many drinks. Hearing this story and being so close to the action really shows what we are there to do. Without this mission, who knows how many more lives would have suffered and died.

How Will You Continue To Prevent Drowning And Create Awareness For The Global Drowning Epidemic (WHO Estimates 375,000+) After Your ISLA Trip? 

Education is key in this subject. And consistent self education, and outreach. Daily there are people learning new ways to prevent drowning and it helps for us to all come together to put our brains and bodies to action.

I would be more blessed than ever to be a part of the team again!

What inspires you?

Making people happy, and doing what I can to help is what keep me going. That is my inspiration. I believe to always go with life and whatever experience comes along my path.

Describe Yourself in 3 words.

Responsible, Bubbly, and Ingenuitive

Hannah Wrenn Nicaragua

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Considering Joining an ISLA Trip?

To anyone considering joining this mission; DO IT! Don’t waste a moment to pass up an amazing opportunity as such. I have learned more than I ever expected, made life long friends, and family. Here in the States, we have more opportunities for equipment, training, education, and outreach. We are all here on the world to help one another, and with these organizations we are showing that we can make this possible. I love being able to use my gift and skill of Ocean Rescue other places, especially those where it isn’t readily available.

Want to join our team of International Lifeguards?

Are you someone passionate about helping others? Interested in traveling the globe as a humanitarian lifeguard? Signing up to our newsletter below is the 1st step!

Volunteer Lifeguard

It Was a Mellow Day at the Beach, But What Happened Next Changed Everything

Posted on: April 9th, 2015 by raquel 1 Comment

This past Easter (Semana Santa) we sent a team of 17 volunteers to lifeguard 4 beaches in Nicaragua; La Boquita, Huehuete, Poneloya, and Jiquillio. Semana Santa in Nicaragua is a national holiday celebration traditionally associated with massive beach crowds, dangerous surf and ocean conditions, and multiple drowning events. During the holiday, we shared lifesaving techniques and helped prevent drownings alongside the Nicaraguan Red Cross.

But one particular event left a lasting impression on everyone…

Jiquillo Nicaragua

“It was a mellow weekend when things took a turn for an action-packed streak of adrenaline with my partner Chris Angelotti.  A dark cloud followed us but we wouldn’t let it hold us down. We were making non-stop rescues, we didn’t know when it would end.” – Nick Schriver

“We were alerted to a problem in the water by a man yelling something in Spanish which instinctively caused me to look in his direction. I saw a man holding the arm of a  limp body just a few feet from the shore. We ran to the man and began to pull him to dry sand to begin the assessment. Once on dry land, Nick had the bag valve mask (BVM) and started the assessment quickly realized that the victim was not breathing. He pulled out the bag valve mask and instructed one of the Nicaraguan Red Cross volunteers to check for a pulse. He had a pulse, but was not breathing.

Nick opened his airway and we began to provide ventilation. After a few ventilation’s the victim began to make an effort to breathe on his own. Even though he began to breathe on his own he was not getting enough oxygen to his lungs. We continued to use the bag valve mask for about 2 more minutes until the victim started to try to talk. We removed the BVM and Nick began to ask the victim questions to obtain his level of consciousness. The victim knew his name and the date, but not where he was. At this point, we put the victim on a backboard and put him in the ambulance where they took him for further care.” – Chris Angelotti

With their skills, training, the ability to act calmly and quickly in an emergency situation our two ISLA lifeguards Nick Schriver and Chris Angelotti and the Nicaraguan Red Cross lifeguards resuscitated a drowning victim at Jiquilillo and saved his life.

“My training kicked in and I instinctively jumped into action. My adrenaline was pumping and my training allowed me to play a part in saving a mans life. It was an experience I will never forget.” – Chris Angelotti

Resuscitation Nicaragua

Resuscitation Nicaragua

Resuscitation Nicaragua

“The whole trip was one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my life. Meeting the Nicaraguan volunteers and experiencing their way of life and how they lifeguard opened my eyes and made me realize why I love to lifeguard! The resuscitation was just icing on the cake.” – Chris Angelotti

“We fulfilled our mission with ISLA, we did what we came to do and accomplished more than what we would have expected.  We trained, shared ideas, lifeguarded side-by-side with the Nicaraguans, made many rescues that saved many lives. It’s an honor to know what we did made a significant impact and difference.  Our work may be done for now but we’ll be back for more.  We are lifeguards, resuscitationists, and humanitarians.” – Nick Schriver

Did you know that around the globe, 2 people drown every minute? This is a statistic that is not only recognized by the World Health Organization as an epidemic, but one that needs to stop!


And these deaths can be prevented through awareness, education and taking action. Want to help us take action to #StopDrowning ?

Volunteer Lifeguard

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