Group photo of Pensacola Beach Lifeguards

Lifeguards performing a rescue on Pensacola Beach

Mission Statement

The mission of Pensacola Beach Lifeguards is to educate and protect the public on Pensacola Beach. The division’s core competency is dealing with incidents that develop in the aquatic environment. We contract with Gulf Islands National Seashore to provide lifeguard coverage for the seashore's three swimming beaches: Opal, Langdon and Johnson Beach. Lifeguards provide coverage year-round with our operations split between two seasons: tower and beach patrol. The beach patrol operates mid-October to the start of tower season, which generally begins March 1. During the beach patrol season, the primary function is implementation of the surf warning system, responding to aquatic emergencies and maintenance of equipment. In tower season, lifeguards staff six Gulf-front towers and a tower at the Quietwater public use areas. During the beach patrol season, lifeguards patrol the beach with the use of patrol vehicles.

FY 2017-2018 Accomplishments

  • Successfully recruited and tested new team members in December.
  • Organized and implemented lifeguard training for 54 returning lifeguards.
  • Conducted three training classes for 24 new lifeguards.
  • Upon concluding training, Pensacola Beach lifeguards had an operational staff of 78 men and women.
  • Opened lifeguard towers March 1 for the beginning of tower season.
  • Lifeguards provided lifesaving service for Gulf Islands National Seashore public swimming beaches Opal, Langdon, and Johnson.
  • Operationally adjusted to large influx of visitors for Memorial Day weekend.
  • Conducted two junior lifeguard training sessions in June and July.
  • Provided services for Independence Day.
  • With fellow public safety agencies, provided safety and security for the Pensacola Beach Blue Angels Air Show. Lifeguards set the airshow box fore the performers.
  • Responded to off-season water rescue call with Escambia County Fire Rescue, with a father and two daughters assisted to safety. Father transported by EMS for further treatment.
Lifeguard Statistics
  • 114,000 contacts with beach visitors
  • Rescued 135 people from drowning
  • Assisted 196 people in moderate distress
  • Attended 39 major medical incidents
  • Assisted Escambia County EMS with 31 patients requiring transport
  • 8,000 people reached through water safety presentations

A lifeguard helps a woman along the beach to the Gulf of Mexico
A lifeguard helps an elderly woman dip her toes in the Gulf of Mexico

Lifeguard Helps Elderly Woman Dip Her Toes in the Gulf

In August, an elderly woman visiting Pensacola Beach told a bystander that she hadn't been able to dip her toes in the Gulf of Mexico since her first visit to Pensacola Beach during her high school senior trip. "All I want to do is put my feet in the water one more time," she said. The bystander, Shelia Hall Templeton, requested assistance from Pensacola Beach Lifeguard Alex Hernandez, who helped walk her down to the water.

Templeton shared the heartwarming story on the Pensacola Beach Lifeguards Facebook page:

"As she was telling me this, she began to break down and cry,"  she wrote. "I told her not to cry, that we would get her out to the water somehow." She said Hernandez put his arm around the elderly woman's arm and stayed by her side as they slowly made their way to the water, with her husband taking her other arm. "When she got tired, she sat down on the seat of her walker," she wrote. "The young man still stood with her.....he never left her side."

Thanks to help from a Pensacola Beach Lifeguard and kindhearted bystanders, the woman was able to fulfill her dream of dipping her toes in the Gulf of Mexico.


Contacts with beach visitors


People rescued from drowning


Assists to EMS for patients requiring transport