Beaches, barbeques, and beer. Fireworks, family, and fun. It seems a whole lot of people have those kinds of plans when it comes to the Fourth of July national holidays around the United States.

And with a combination of beaches, barbeques, and beer, lifeguards have to be especially vigilant around water.

On the Southern California coast, the lifeguards are stationed in lifeguard towers with communication equipment and armed with radios, a lifesaver tube and fins.

We do a lot of preventative work, so when we see people who do not look confident in the water, we warn them before they get in the water,” explains Lexie Kelly. “We have 3 kinds of flags: green for acceptable conditions where it is generally safe. Yellow for conditions with waves or currents that require swimming with fins or more for experienced swimmers. And red for more dangerous conditions.

If a lifeguard has to make a save in one of our flanking towers, then we know to keep watch over their unmanned areas until he is back in position. There is always someone or something to keep an eye out for.”

Especially on a holiday.

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