Bob Burnside, Ocean Safety Extraordinaire, Recognized

Bob Burnside, Ocean Safety Extraordinaire, Recognized

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Paragon (noun): a person regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality.

Paragon Awards (noun): annual recognition given to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.

Bob Burnside: recipient of the 2014 Paragon Awards for his outstanding and influential lifelong contributions to Aquatic Safety.

In 1964, Bob Burnside was appointed as the first president of the Surf Lifesaving Association.

The emerging water safety group later became known as the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA). In 1967, he developed the revolutionary plastic Burnside Rescue Can that is now a standard for lifeguards worldwide and iconic symbol of beach lifeguarding.

An ocean lifeguard since 1951 in Los Angeles, he was completely comfortable in the open water as a fast swimmer, competitive bodysurfer, and ocean lifeguard, and also on shore as a capable administrator and passionate advocate of all things related to safety.

Burnside will be presented with his well-deserved award on June 13th at a special ceremony at the 50th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Pentair is honored to be associated with the International Swimming Hall of Fame and to recognize leaders in the aquatic industry who play a prominent role in the promotion of swimming,” said Jim Drozdowski, Institutional Aquatics Sales Manager for Pentair Aquatic Systems, sponsors of the Paragon Awards.

The annual Paragon Awards bring some of the most interesting and fascinating people each year to the Hall of Fame,” said International Swimming Hall of Fame President and CEO Bruce Wigo, including Burnside who continues to compete in ocean competitions at the age of 82. “These are the unsung heroes who make competitive and recreational aquatics possible, who save lives, who promote water safety and further aquatic education.”

For ticket information to the 50th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies and Paragon Awards, visit

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones