New Ocean Beach Lifeguard Memorial Vandalized

An unknown suspect or suspects dumped bright paint on the bronze statue

A new bronze memorial unveiled in Ocean Beach just one week ago has already been defaced, San Diego lifeguards confirmed Friday.

The memorial, a 6-foot statue meant to honor the San Diego lifeguards who keep our local beaches safe, was vandalized with bright green, blue and pink paint, according to San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma (see photo below).

“It was vandalized. Someone painted shorts and other items onto the statue. It has since been removed,” said Lt. Lerma.

Officials are not sure who put paint on the statue, but the incident is under investigation. Though the paint has been removed, there is visible discoloration on the bronze statue's head and chest (see photo to right).

The statue, located by the Santa Monica lifeguard tower, is only one-week-old and was unveiled on May 24.

It represents the sacrifices local lifeguards make each day to keep San Diego beaches safe and also honors the 13 victims who drowned in 1918 during an unusual, deadly rip current near Mission Bay.

The statue was designed by a former Point Loma high school student, Richard Arnold. A plaque stands next to the statue that describes the history of rescues by local lifeguards.

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