At high noon on Sunday, the City of Newport Beach will dedicate the Benjamin M Carlson Lifeguard Headquarters, named after the 15-year veteran lifeguard who lost his life last July while rescuing a swimmer in distress.
The brief dedication ceremony at 70 Newport Pier, which is near the intersection of Balboa Boulevard and 21st Street in Newport Beach, is open to the public and will be followed from 12:30 to 2 p.m. by an open house where you can meet the city lifeguard staff, enjoy light refreshments and tour the 6,300-square-foot headquarters building underwent that underwent an extensive, $2 million rehabilitation last year.
(The place may also be buzzing given the warm temperatures forecast Sunday that will surely send flocks to the beach.)
"The City Council and staff, the Carlson family, Ben's fellow lifeguards and friends, and our community united in Ben's loss but also around the idea of remembering and honoring Ben in a lasting and meaningful way," Newport Beach Mayor Edward Selich says in a statement about the dedication ceremony. "There's no better place to bear his name than our lifeguard headquarters building."
Chief Lifeguard Rob Williams agrees.
"Ben exemplified the qualities we want to instill in all of our lifeguards," Williams said. "He was highly skilled and dedicated to his profession, always prepared to do his job, and he never hesitated to help wherever and whenever needed. He loved his job and it showed. Naming lifeguard headquarters after Ben will be an enduring reminder of his high professional standards. When lifeguards, junior lifeguards, and the public enter the building in the years to come, they will be reminded of Ben and how our lifeguards protect and serve the residents and visitors of Newport Beach."
Carlson on July 6, 2014, became the first lifeguard in the history of Newport Beach to be killed in the line of duty. He was 32.
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