Lifeguarding as we know it today has its roots in the summer resorts that sprang up in the north eastern US, particularly in the region of the Jersey seashore. Resorts attempted to attract "inland city dwellers" to escape the summer heat (remember, there was no air conditioning) around the turn of the last century. Drownings increased, and police men were occasionally assigned to "watch" the beach. It wasn't until 1910 that Hawaiian-born Olympic athlete, actor and professional water polo player Duke Kahanamoku introduced the "rescue surfboard" and single handedly saved 17 men from drowning. Since that time, rescue board handlers were developed in major principalities with beaches to which they assign the singular function of preventing drownings. They came to be known as lifeguards, a function now present at beaches and public swimming pools. Early on, the costumes looked more like suit coats, and it wasn't until the 1940s that more water-appropriate attire was ordered and considered a norm amongst lifeguards. To honor this proud tradition, we offer our lifeguard ornaments personalized for men and women, blonds and brunettes. Each of our lifeguard Christmas ornaments arrives in its own velvet bag to create the perfect presentation for your thoughtful gift.
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