lifeguard

Allison Light / WLRN

Usually lifeguards on the beach are there to watch over swimmers. But earlier this week, 220 professional lifeguards took over Delray Beach to compete with each other and test their skills as part of the U.S. Lifesaving Association's Southeast Regional Championships. 

Wilson Sayre

For many beach-goers, lifeguards only exist inside the tiny towers that dot the beach and in their memories of Baywatch episodes.

So what lifeguards (or ocean rescuers) actually do isn't widely understood.

Here are five misconceptions about lifeguards for you below:

1. This is a summer job for college kids.

Wikipedia

Miami Beach officials are replacing their collection of 29 lifeguard stands.  In their place next year will be bright, whimsical designs by local architect William Lane.

Lane says the new designs will be inspired by six iconic stands he created in the '90s.

"There was a round one, a pink one over on Eighth Street and that one is being rebuilt. It was sort of Jetsonian," he says.

That’s right, it was inspired by the '60s cartoon -- The Jetsons.