June 2010 home page

  “Kimo” Lischer, One of DM’s Finest
Jon Edelbrock | Del Mar Lifeguard Sergeant


1972. Back Row (left to right): Eric Sandy, Vern Rye, Bob Mauer, Grant Larson, Joyce Hoffman, Jack Ross. Front Row: Bill McConachie, Jim Lischer, Captain Gardner Stevens, Dan Jago, Brad Smith.
Photo courtesy Del Mar Lifeguards.


May 1st marked the end of a distinguished career of one of Del Mar’s most iconic figures, Lifeguard Sergeant James “Kimo” Lischer. Over a career that spanned thirty-eight years, Jim set the bar high both physically and mentally, demanding the most out of his fellow employees.

If you ever wanted an accurate surf report or forecast for Del Mar beach, if you got it from Jim, it was right on.! Jim always kept a keen eye on storm data near and far, in addition to having a vast array of knowledge about our local wave set-ups, tides, and weather.

Jim never made the distinction between friend and co-worker. To him, you were both. During the summer, he constantly mulled over the many ways to get the team together and keep the “aloha spirit” alive at the beach. Each year, Jim would organize paddleboard races, surf contests, barbecues, and volleyball matches – with everyone invited. Del Mar Lifeguard Tomas Bryant noted that Jim “believed strongly that a team is stronger if you spend time together socially.”

Jim has given much of his life. to the Lifeguard Department In a city that was incorporated only fifty years ago, Jim is a walking history book on the happenings down at the beach as well as our workplace. Again, in Tomas Bryant’s words, “Jim has transferred the importance of our history to all Lifeguards, giving knowledge of where the department came from, where it’s going, and the many stories of our community along the way.”

Although Jim has now retired, don’t be surprised to see him down at the beach enjoying the sun, surfing, playing volleyball, or filling a shift at the tower this summer. It is, after all, in his blood.


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