A unique world in the Hamptons is the world of lifeguarding, and everybody knows that the Ryan family runs the show. John Ryan Sr. is a towering, larger than life sort of character. In the summertime, it is not uncommon to see him yelling at lifeguards as they train in the ocean, or to see him with a big smile next to his son John Ryan Jr. who for more than three decades, has been the chief lifeguard for the Town of East Hampton. They are a true lifeguarding family and when you enter their world, you enter a world of rip currents, surfing, long distance swims and runs, endless training and of course lots of sunblock. Lifeguarding in the Hamptons is a very special experience to those that have had the opportunity to spend their summers watching the water, it never leaves you and for most lifeguards that come out of the East Hampton program, they are lifeguards for life.
The ocean, the action, the danger, the drama, it’s all a perfect set for a movie to be made. And if you think about it, it’s actually kind of amazing that it took this long for a movie to get made about Hamptons lifeguards. The movie is called “Waterproof” which is produced by Southampton ceramicist Mae Mougin and is directed by Ross Kauffman. The film brings you into the exciting and often dangerous world of lifeguarding in the Hamptons, and it’s an absolute tribute to them. Any local in the area will be interested in watching.
What makes the program different in East Hampton? It’s the absolute and total commitment to water safety by the Ryans, who are lifeguards for life. This isn’t just a summer job, it’s a year round career and lifestyle. Both the Ryans and all members of the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad, the Junior Lifeguard Program and the East Hampton Lifeguard Association, have the ocean running through their veins at all times.
“Waterproof” is a great time. It’s the real “Baywatch” and gives insight into what you have to go through in order to become a lifeguard. From the training, to the ocean rescue test in cold water, to the never-ending battle against the elements to keep people safe in the ocean. It takes an unbelievable amount of physical and mental toughness to become a lifeguard and the film truly captures not only what it takes, but how the East Hampton community has supported lifeguarding as a real institution in the area.
For more info, visit www.waterprooflifeguardsforlife.com