Kore Spotlight Series: Lifeguard

September 16, 2019

Kore Spotlight Series: Lifeguard

Introducing Kore Spotlight Series

Name: Ryan Dammann
City: San Diego
Profession: Lifeguard

Rapid Fire Questions

Drink of choice? Pliney The Elder IPA from Russian River (it's made in limited supply)
Guilty pleasure? Golf at Steele Canyon
Best date night meal? Al Pastor Street Tacos
Go to vacation spot? Cabo
Biggest lifeguard no no? Turning your back to the ocean

Walk us through your career.

I started off as a college swimmer in Wyoming and became a permanent lifeguard. Today, I'm a lifeguard mostly at Mission Bay these days, boating specialty team member and swift water/flood rescue team member. 

What's your biggest takeaway from being a lifeguard?

Life is short. And it can be a lot shorter if you don't know how to swim.

If you weren't a lifeguard, what would you be?

I think this is the only job for me. I love it.

What do you instill in new lifeguards?

Work ethic.

What's your greatest accomplishment?

Besides being a husband and the father of two boys, it's trying my best to pass on what's been taught to me, to those after me.

Describe a day in the life.

Briefing, boat maintenance, then a workout and boat patrol.

Can you recall the first save you made?

Honestly can't remember my first water rescue... will always remember my first cliff rescue though. A paraglider crashed at Blacks Beach and was hanging by his chute 200 feet up the cliff. The second I had him hooked up a gust of wind picked the chute off the cliff and we went winging on the rope. Can't forget that feeling.

What goes through your mind when making a save?

Just keep your eyes on the victim.

What's the most impactful lifeguard save you've done?

I helped rescue most of the crew of fishermen during a 15 foot swell at night. It was at Windansea Beach around 8 pm. We had to take a boat inside the surf which was 15 feet high. It was dark, the waves were huge and crashing. There were about 5 people in the water after their boat capsized. We lost one of them. Afterwards, received the SDFD Lifesaving and Red Cross Medal. 

What life lessons do you hope to teach your kids?

Respect your elders. Say please and thank you. Help others and no matter what you do, make sure it's a positive contribution to this world.

How has being a father changed your perspective?

At work, it has definitely made me more connected to the rescues. Especially the kids. It used to not affect me as much.

What tools do you use to optimize your performance?

Swimming, surfing and running. And these new Kore shades!

How has your relationship with working out changed throughout your career?

I have always made it a priority and do the best I can to stay in shape. Not just for the rescues, but also the competitions we have.

What's your pet peeve on the beach?

Parents who don't keep an eye on their kids.

What's something most people don't expect to come from the lifeguard title?

We do all the coastal cliff rescues and river rescues in the city. As well as the dive rescues and marine fires. We have 3 fire boats. And lots of pump outs of boats taking in water.

What's something that can't be taught - a trait you look for when hiring?

Situational awareness... it’s what I look for when training new boat operators.

What's your favorite beach?

South Mission Beach

Words to live by in the ocean?

When in doubt, go out.

Why do you like Kore's NEW Neo-Lock Sunglasses?

Pretty simple... they are of great style and quality and don't hit the ground every time I lean over.


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