Greg GordonSurf CR

Costa Ballena Lifeguards Update

Surf CR logoCosta Ballena Lifeguards Update – Greg Gordon

The guardavidas of Costa Rica have been protecting the beaches of Playa Hermosa and Dominical for years. They were the first program to be awarded a contract by the Municipality of Osa for four lifeguards, but that agreement had expired on January 1st. So for 2023 they are currently relying on community funding to keep the group afloat (pun intended).

In 2022 they had over 3000 preventions to keep swimmers from the dangerous rip currents at both beaches. They performed 13 rescues and another 10 first aid applications. Without them many lives may have been lost.

Also in 2022 the Costa Ballena Lifeguard association was awarded a $30,000 grant to build a new lifeguard tower in Playa Hermosa de Uvita. That gave them more visibility along the beach and a more comfortable area to perform their jobs. The work was completed by Tarzan Construction.

Uvita Brewery also hosted a summer benefit that raised over $5000 for the program. There were dozens of prizes donated by local businesses for their raffle and silent auction and Drew Laplante and DJ Bosque provided excellent music for the event.

A GoFundMe project was able to raise enough money to buy an ATV for the lifeguards in Dominical. And other one organized by Punta Gabriela is helping pay for the lifeguards’ end of year bonuses.

This year they are already active in new projects. The first was hosting an open water rescue led by Swim Safe, an international program for lifeguard training. Seventeen participants performed rigorous swimming and running tests, learned CPR, surfboard rescue techniques, and then had to log 24 hours of volunteering on the stand before they were certified. The goal is to have a larger pool of trained candidates to be employed.

On April 7th and 8th will be the 10th annual Semana Santa Classic surf contest in Dominical. Dozens of businesses are sponsoring the event and the best surfers in the country will compete for cash and prizes with all the proceeds going to the lifeguard program. Later in the year will be a 4th of July party and hopefully a second edition of the Uvita Brewery Summer Benefit.

If you want to get involved with any of these events, please email [email protected]. And if you wish to make a donation, use this link, It is tax deductible in the United States, too. Or follow the links on their website,