Teddy Weise, honored Thursday as San Clemente Lifeguard of the Year saved 40 people from drowning over the past summer despite having a supervisor’s workload.
As a manger, he was more or less out of action, but that didn't stop him from diving in when necessary. That's why the city's entire Marine Safety Division voted for him to receive the honor.
"It was a pretty busy summer," Weise said in an interview at the Exchange Club's award luncheon at Irons in the Fire restaurant. "The heat wave was killer, and we had a big summer swell for Labor Day. There were a lot of good rescues. We like to get out there and stop it before it turns into a rescue, but we can't always do that. To me, a good rescue is when someone is in serious need of help; usually they're pretty grateful."
Weise called it a "humbling experience," and thanked his peers, supervisors and family.
The Exchange Club has awarded Lifeguard of the Year since 2004, and gives the recipient plaques and a large surfboard emblazoned with his name and the honor.