Lifeguard Operations


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Lake Mission Viejo is a beautiful fresh water lake, 10 miles from the coast in Orange County, California.  The LMVA Lifeguard Department was established in 1978, and became a member of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) in 1979.

The staff consists of three Lifeguard Lieutenants, three Part-Time 30 Supervisor Lifeguards, 15 Seasonal Supervisors and 50 Seasonal Lifeguards.  The officers and Part-Time 30 Supervisor lifeguards are registered EMT’s, and all lifeguards employed with the LMVA received USLA’s “Advanced Training” level of certification.

There are five private, white sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Mission Viejo. Two of the beaches are open to all LMVA members and their guests and are guarded by LMVA lifeguards throughout the year.  There are four lifeguard towers at the North Beach facility and three towers at the East Beach facility (East Beach is open during summer months), with an additional roving lifeguard during peak hours.


Lifeguards are scheduled to work eight hour shifts.  During slow periods, or unfavorable weather, the scheduled hours may be reduced. Seasonal guards rotate from the lifeguard tower to roving the water’s edge and back to the lifeguard tower during two-hour assignment blocks.  Following tower shifts, lifeguards report to a lake patrol boat for a two hour assignment.

Lifeguard towers are equipped with a rescue buoy, paddle board, mask and snorkel, first-aid kit, binoculars, marker buoy, sunscreen, and a hat for head and shoulder protection.  Beach towers have a telephone for communicating from tower to tower and from tower to Dispatch, which is located in the Lifeguard Headquarters building.

The Lifeguard Department staffs towers at two beaches on Lake Mission Viejo. North Beach, which is located at the main entrance of the lake, off Olympiad Road, and East beach, located about one-half mile south of the main entrance, off Lanzarote Road.

North Beach is staffed by lifeguards year-round and swimming is permitted from LMVA opening hours until dusk. The LMVA Lifeguard Department hours of operation are from 6:00 a.m. to midnight on weekends and 8:00 a.m. to midnight on weekdays (11:00 p.m. in the fall, winter, and spring).

Five to six lifeguards are staffed at North Beach during peak hours from mid-June to Labor Day, in addition to water observation from the four lifeguard towers and roving beach lifeguard.

Search & Recovery Dive Team

To insure that Lake Mission Viejo Lifeguards meet and maintain the highest possible professional public safety standards, lifeguard personnel are trained in emergency underwater rescue.  Search and recovery operations are the primary mission for the Lake Mission Viejo Dive Team, which is made up of 15 specially trained and certified lifeguards.  Rapid response dive gear is located on each of the four rescue boats and a well-stocked dive equipment locker is located at the Lifeguard Headquarters.  Lifeguards stand ready year-round to respond to emergencies in the lake’s depths of up to 67 feet.

Mutual Aid

The Lake Mission Viejo Dive Team maintains a commitment to assist other communities in times of need.  Mission Viejo lifeguards have been called upon to assist the Orange County Fire Authority, Laguna Beach Lifeguards, and Newport Beach Lifeguards in underwater searches.  Mutual aid cooperation from each of the 8 professional open water agencies in Orange County, including Lake Mission Viejo, have aided many Orange County communities.

Rescue/Patrol Boats

LMVA lifeguards make regular boat patrols of the lake before, during and after hours.  The department operates three 17” Boston Whaler “Montauk” patrol boats and one, 21’ “Seawater” Dive/Rescue pontoon boat with a large, open bow that is used for dive operations, patient extrication from the water, general maintenance, and buoy repair and replacement.  The Dive/Rescue boat holds two full sets of SCUBA dive gear for emergency rescue operations.

Lifeguard patrol responds to aquatic emergencies, public assistance and vessel assistance year round from 6:00 a.m. to midnight.  During the summer season, from approximately June 15 to Labor Day, two boats are assigned to patrol during peak hours.

Each boat is equipped with rescue buoys, floating back board, medical-aid equipment, including oxygen therapy , an AED on the primary patrol vessel, SCUBA gear, a marker buoy, high voltage search light, towing bar and lines and a small fire extinguisher.  The boats are powered by a Honda, 90 horse power, 4-stroke outboard motor with a maximum speed of thirty five miles per hour.

Rescue boats maintain communications by radio and cell phone with LMVA Lifeguard Dispatch located at the North Beach Lifeguard Headquarters.

Lifeguards assigned to rescue boats respond to a variety of situations during their shifts.  The most common situations include; towing boats, cautioning persons outside their vessel, moving vessels outside of swim areas, preventing unsafe boating practices, responding to capsized boats, medical-aids, and enforcing LMVA Rules & Regulations

Day Date Events
Wednesday Feb 10th 2021 Board Meeting
Wednesday Mar 10th 2021 Board Meeting
Wednesday Apr 14th 2021 Board Meeting
Wednesday May 12th 2021 Board Meeting
Wednesday Jun 9th 2021 Board Meeting
Wednesday Jul 14th 2021 Board Meeting

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