Bolles Junior Becomes Lifeguard at Jax Beach


Photo Credit: Laurie Lee

While many were stuck at home this summer, Bolles Junior Faeryn Lee became a Jax Beach Lifeguard. Lee subjected herself to grueling training over the course of a nine-week process. Out of over thirty original trainees, Lee became one of only six to graduate from the intense training, including copious running, extreme swimming drills, long safety lectures, dragging large towers, and more, “It’s a lot of physical training, a lot of hazing, a lot of getting screamed at, and being pushed to do things you didn’t think you were able to do,” Lee said.


Lee explained one training exercise called “the circle of death” which involved recruits resisting going under the waves despite difficult conditions. Lee said, “The surfmen (lifeguards) go around and try to drown us and we have to get out of their hold so they don’t take us to the bottom.”

Lee (third from left) stands with the other graduates after 9 weeks of training. Photo Credit: Laurie Lee

This effort on the part of the lifeguards is being put to great use as they patrol our beaches. Lee said, “We can sit up on peg which is the lighthouse part of the station and its up high so we can see almost the whole beach: three streets north and five or six streets south.”


Lee is especially qualified because of her background in swimming which has been present her whole life. “I think I was two or three months old and my parents took me to UNF and dropped me in the pool and that’s where it all started,” Bolles junior Lee said. Lee has since swum at JCA and has been swimming at Bolles for several years. 


Look no further for proof of her swimming talent than the fact that the second-best swimmer in the lifeguard training course finished a 550 (11 laps) a full minute and thirty seconds after Lee. 


Part of being a good lifeguard is knowing who is most likely to need your help. Lee explained that it is usually quite easy to tell who is more at risk at the beach. One example she cited was a man who asked “‘have there been many jellyfish bites today?’” Since jellyfish do not bite at all, Lee was able to recognize the inexperience that man had in regards to beachgoing and kept an eye on him for his safety. 


After a hard day of lifeguarding, Lee returns home feeling pride and enjoyment in her work,  “[I feel] pretty excited; I’m really tired and kind of sore but it’s a lot of fun.”