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Want to earn $120,000? Become a Newport, Calif., lifeguard.

Full-time lifeguards in Newport Beach, Calif., get a great pension, too. But they're not the lifeguards sitting in the chairs.

May 20, 2011

In this May 15, 2011 photo, lifeguard captain Arn Van Dyk, left, directs lifeguard trainees in a swimmer-rescue drill during a training session for new seasonal lifeguards at Newport Beach, Calif. Newport Beach’s 13-member, full-time lifeguard crew has gotten skeptical reactions ever since the local newspaper editorialized about lifeguard salaries, benefits, and overtime pay that in at least two instances top $200,000 as the city struggles to rein in pension costs.

Reed Saxon/AP/File


By Cindy Perman, Staff Writer

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You might think that only Pamela Anderson made six figures from being a lifeguard but here’s a surf alert that’s sure to ripple your tide: Full-time lifeguards in Newport Beach, Calif., make more than $120,000 a year!

The city’s budget report showed the highest-paid lifeguard, the battalion chief, had a base salary of $119,000. When you factor in overtime, standby pay and other perks, he made $211,000! The No. 2 made a total of $203,000.

Plus, KTLA reports, they also got an annual allowance of $400 for “sun protection.”

It’s a far cry from what lifeguards typically make. One colleague here at said she used to make $9 an hour as a lifeguard, and another said she made NOTHING.

Now, these guys aren’t the guys who sit on the towers, waiting for the call of duty to resuscitate a beach blond. Those guys are part-timers who make about $16 to $22, with no benefits. This six-figure brigade of full-timers is the guys who oversee the whole babewatch.

And just when you thought lifeguarding was a summer job, check this out: These real-life David Hasselhoffs are retiring from these jobs with 90 percent of their pay, racking up a Hoff-load in pension costs for the city!

Of course, there are groups protesting this outrageous beach scandal but, being California, the protests look like a TV show from the 1970s, complete with wacka-wacka disco soundtrack: