Lifeguard Championships turn Siesta Key into 'Baywatch'

- A lifeguard competition made the beach in Sarasota look more like an episode of Baywatch Thursday.

Their job is physically demanding and staying in shape is part of it, but only a select few could rise to the top in the Lifeguard Championship.

"I started doing it because it was keeping me in shape, staying around the younger guys to work out in the morning," said Doug Flutie.

Yes, that's football great Doug Flutie. He was one of nearly 300 lifeguards competing in the Lifeguard Championship on Siesta Key.

Lifeguards compete in teams, each of which showcases the skills they've learned on the job. For Flutie, working out with lifeguards led him to become one.

"It came to realizing what they do is very important, and I wanted to be apart of it. Then the opportunity to compete with them, and it kept building," Flutie explained.

Flutie has been a volunteer lifeguard with Brevard County for three years. After being on the football field for years, and then making pop culture waves on "Dancing with the Stars," he said being a lifeguard comes as second nature.

"I can push as hard as I can and I will finish, and it's not a big deal. Dancing scared the living daylights out of me, but this does not, at least, scare me, even though these guys are phenomenal athletes," he said.

He is not the only star protecting the beaches.

"Baywatch for me has always been something that I have idealized, just being in this profession," said Lee Hodge.

Hodge works with Boca Raton Ocean Rescue and was chosen to play a role in the upcoming movie "Baywatch."

"To have the opportunity to just be in the movie, and the filming, and the whole process; it was really truly a dream come true and something I will never forget," he said.

The Lifeguard Championships continue Friday morning on Siesta Key Beach at 8 a.m and wrap up around 5 p.m.

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