Lifeguard competition returns to Siesta Key

Nearly 200 of Florida’s top lifeguards are competing this week for a chance to show off their skills on a national stage.

The 2021 United States Lifesaving Association James McCarthy Memorial Surf Lifeguard Championships is back on Siesta Key in Sarasota County for the first time since 2016.

The competition runs July 21-22 and includes swimming, running, paddling, rowing and water rescues. 

The event serves as the Southeast Regional Championships and top finishers can qualify to compete in the National Lifeguard Championship in August at South Padre Island, Texas.

The public is welcome to attend the competitions and admission is free. You can find it near the yellow lifeguard stand on Siesta Key Beach.