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We Asked 22 Lifeguards About The Life They Most Regret Saving

We asked 22 lifeguards, from beaches to pools, one simple question: Whose life do you most regret saving?

1. Alex Karlis – “I don’t really understand the question.”

2. Timothy Grey – “Um...I’ve never regretted saving someone’s life.”

3. Jennifer Maron – “Why would I feel regret?”

4. Mary Anne Koenig – “Everyone I’ve saved so far has been a good, kindhearted person.”

5. DeMarcus Fanning – “What?”

6. Billy Gaddis – “Can’t say I’ve ever felt bad about saving a life.”

7. Molly Navarro – “Sometimes kids don’t thank me when I rescue them and it bugs me a little, but I don’t, like, regret saving them or anything.”

8. Carl Markowitz – “Maybe I’m not getting the question?”

9. Kelly Bennett – “I have yet to regret saving someone’s life.”

10. Gabriel Noone – “I actually saved the life of that guy who was the Oklahoma City bomber. He was swimming at the beach where I was a lifeguard about 10 years before the bombing. I don’t think he actually knew how to swim, because he pretty much just immediately started drowning. Of course, I didn’t know who he was, because he hadn’t done that terrible thing yet. I was just doing my job. But I recognized him right away when I saw him on the news all those years later. I definitely regret saving him, even if refusing to do so would have gotten me fired.”

11. Liam Daniels – “I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but if I remember, I’ll let you know.”

12. Thomas Saunders – “I have never regretted saving someone’s life, not even once.”

13. Mario Vespucci – “I actually only started last week, so I haven’t had a chance to save someone’s life yet.”

14. Tracy Brown – “I don’t think about that type of stuff. If they’re good or bad, it doesn’t matter. You just gotta hop in and save that life.”

15. C.J. Kennedy – “Wait...what?”

16. Caleb Donaldson – “There was a woman last summer who walked into the ocean to try to take her own life. Of course, I didn’t realize this, and when I saw her begin to drown I jumped in to save her. As I brought her up from the floor of the ocean, I noticed her whole body was limp—she was fully prepared to die, and her body was no longer hers. When we finally reached the shore, she told me what she had been trying to do, and that I was only drawing out the inevitable. A week later, I saw on the news that she had jumped in front of a train. Oh, what pain! It was clearly one that had consumed her for years, something out of her control that had infected every part of her being. She had wanted to die on that beach, and who was I to stop her? Who was I to play God? Some of us find freedom in life, but she found freedom in death. All I did was prolong her unhappiness, and I think about it every day.”

17. Tim Bradley – “The band Oasis.”

18. Frankie Marzipan – “Umm, that’s never happened to me.”

19. Jamie Stevenson – “I’ve been happy across the board with the people I’ve saved.”

20. Robert Callahan – “Well, I hope I don’t get any flak for saying this, but about 20 years ago, I was working the early shift at a YMCA in Oklahoma City, and a man with a crewcut hopped in the pool and immediately began drowning. I jumped in, dragged him out, gave him CPR, and saved his life. That drowning man? Timothy McVeigh, who only a couple of hours later committed the worst act of domestic terrorism in our nation’s history. I have to imagine that if I did not administer CPR as well as I did, the infamous Oklahoma City bombing would have never taken place. I have to live with that now.”

21. Katie McGowan – “What do you mean by that?”

22. Morgan Boudreaux – “No regrets over here!”


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