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San Diego Lifesaving Association Raising Funds for Lifeguard Injured On Duty

September 30, 2015 (San Diego)-- After completing a routine rescue at Windansea beach in La Jolla on August 15th, San Diego Lifeguard Gareth “Chappy” Chapman was struck by a large wave in shallow water and driven headfirst into the ground.  The resulting impact left Gareth with several broken vertebrae in his neck and back, but fortunately did not cause any permanent damage to his spinal cord or nervous system.

Despite sustaining his injuries while on-duty in a rescue situation, Gareth is only receiving approximately $250 a week from the City of San Diego’s Workman’s Compensation program (less than half of what he would be able to earn if he were working full-time.)  Due to the nature of his injuries, Gareth is unable to seek other types of work and is suffering a prolonged loss of earnings.

“Obviously we’re very happy that Gareth didn’t sustain any permanent neurological damage from his injuries, but he still has a long way to go before he’s fully fit again” said Lifeguard Assoc. spokesperson Sgt. Ed Harris. “The types of injuries that Chappy sustained are physically debilitating, and will be for some time. That’s why the San Diego Lifesaving Association has decided to step up.”

In order to support their injured teammate, the San Diego Lifesaving Association has started the SDLG Relief Fund and will be holding a fundraising event at 6pm on September 30, 2015 at Galaxy Taco located at 2259 Avenida de La Playa in La Jolla.  Persons interested in supporting Gareth during his recovery are encouraged to visit to donate, or attend the September 30th event at Galaxy Taco.  Checks can be made to SD Lifesaving Association Relief fund and dropped off at any San Diego Main Lifeguard Tower.

Prior to being injured, Gareth had been part of a team of lifeguards at Windansea beach that performed over 500 rescues in the month of July alone. Tasked with protecting thousands of beachgoers, the Windansea crew of five lifeguards routinely made double-digit rescues a day and surpassed 100 rescues a day on several occasions.

For questions regarding the SDLG Relief Fund or the fundraising event on September 30th, please contact Lifeguard spokesperson Ed Harris by calling 619-733-1583 or by email at

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