Lifeguards to be remembered at memorials

Members of the Newport Beach lifeguarding community will mourn the recent losses of two of their own at memorial services this weekend, a city news release said.

A Saturday morning memorial is scheduled for former Newport Beach Lifeguard Capt. Buddy Belshe, who died at age 78 last month.

On Sunday, a memorial will be held for Newport Beach Lifeguard Brian Gray, who also died last month at age 38 following a fall from his bicycle.

Belshe, a local institution on the sand, served as a lifeguard for about 60 years at Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, San Clemente's Ole Hanson Pool and the Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin, the release said.

With the first full-time Huntington Beach lifeguard as his father, Belshe took to the water early, competing in a number of swimming competitions over the years. He also helped create the Newport Pier-to-Pier 2-Mile Ocean Swim in 1976.

Belshe worked for the last 19 years of his 47-year Newport career at Big Corona Beach, before retiring in 2010. He reportedly suffered from Alzheimer's and died Dec. 19.

His memorial will be at 10:30 a.m. at Big Corona.

Gray, a Corona del Mar native who served for 21 years as a lifeguard, was well-known in the local surf community. He helped train junior lifeguards, worked as a dispatcher and acted as a "resident expert" on surf forecasting, according to the release.

His memorial will be held at noon on the beach at 17th Street on the Balboa Peninsula. Guests are encouraged to bring a beach chair or blanket to the service.

Send cards or letters to the Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguard Assn., P.O. Box 466, Balboa, CA 92661.

Twitter: @jillcowan

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