Beachgoers are noticing the changes on the sand at Seaside, Cardiff Reef, Ponto, South Carlsbad, and Tamarack beaches. A California icon, the classic lifeguard tower, has had an extreme makeover.
The old, less-angular fiberglass towers are classic California architecture made famous by Baywatch and other TV shows. Not everyone likes the new, unevenly shaped towers. (Are those shining aqua-blue things lifeguard towers or attack drones from an upcoming Star Wars film?)
A section of Ponto Beach is now a graveyard of nine old towers. Lifeguards had advertised the free towers on Craig’s List for those wanting a unique playhouse or artist’s retreat in their backyard. Unfortunately, higher-ups got wind of the giveaway and stopped it for reasons of possible liability, should a tower drop off of a private moving truck at 55 mph on I-5.
Estimates to send the old towers to the landfill were too expensive. Plans now call for transport down to Silver Strand State Beach in Imperial Beach. Since IB has plenty lifeguard towers, where they go from there is undetermined. Hint: don’t be surprised to notice a SoCal lifeguard tower while enjoying lobster.