The San Diego lifeguard statue in Ocean Beach, dedicated in a ceremony last week (May 23), has been vandalized. Last night, May 30, someone painted portions of the statue in three different colors.
In a phone conversation with lifeguard lieutenant Nick Lerma, he stated, "I think this is so thoughtless and disrespectful to the 11 men that lost their lives here in 1918 when they all drowned. But I doubt the vandals gave any of that much thought at all."
Denny Knox of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association said, "I really hope this wasn't a local that did this. That is so sad to think about."
Knox had no details about the crime. She heard that Park and Recreation came out and cleaned what seems to be water soluble paint off of the statue. I watched another lifeguard hose off the remnants of it when I was there this morning.
The defacement of the statue is reminiscent of the periodic abuse experienced by the “Cardiff Kook,” a statue erected in Encinitas in 2007. It has been repeatedly vandalized, but only in comical fashion with clothes and other props that can be easily removed.