The 1918 Drownings in Ocean Beach

Feb. 18, 2010, Mike Martino, who is a Lifeguard Superviser at Silver Strand State Beach, presented the story of the May 5, 1918, Ocean Beach drownings. He gave analysis and examine some of the characters involved the tragic event.
This sad chapter in Ocean Beach’s history occurred when a large rip current formed off Ocean Beach devastated the community. thirteen people drown including eleven servicemen. Others thought to be missing, but not confirmed. Multiple rescues were performed by lifeguards, police, and military along with civilians. Rescue operations spanned over three hours.
Mike has written the book the Lifeguards of San Diego County published by Arcadia.

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2 Responses

  1. Michael Martino is the expert on this tragedy and continues to do research on this and other San Diego lifeguard history. I recently did an article for the Union-Tribune on the drownings, which you can read at sandiegoyesterday.com. Michael kindly provided a photograph of Louie Chauvaud, the lifeguard hero of the day.

  2. Rick,
    Caught your article. It startled me at first until I realized it was a historic piece. I know it did others also from reading the comments ( classic ). I don’t get people like the one who stated why are you writing something that happened nearly 100 yrs ago.
    No sense of history I guess.
    I love reading about the history of our region.
    Your right Michael knows a lot about the local lifeguard history.
    I’ve had the chance to get to know him. Great guy.
    Pat

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