Black Sunday revisited

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM.

"Many of those drowning came in sight of the beach safety warning poles that are there," he said. "While sending the correct message, those poles don't physically make a difference in eliminating drownings."

At the end of the day, Wise said the key is to have an education-first program. To ensure that beachgoers stay safe, the SWFD is continually training new guards through its junior lifeguard program, which currently has 60 members.

"We are trying to make a difference, focus on education and are doing the best we can do," he said. "My motto is very simple; if you don't know, don't go. Too many people overestimate their ability."

Lasting memory

With the memories of Black Sunday still tucked away in his mind, Hauser said he doesn't reflect on that day as much as he used to, but the day's tragic events are always going to stay with him.

"I'll always remember that little boy who lost his dad," he said. "I've got a seven-year-old daughter and I can't imagine her not having her dad."

"Whether people say I did the right thing or the wrong thing, I know in my mind I did what was right," Hauser added. "People just don't know that it can be really dangerous out there, especially if you catch it at the wrong time."

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