Making a Splash: Meet Beacon and Buoy, America’s Pioneering Canine Lifeguards

America's Pioneering Canine Lifeguards

Beacon and Buoy: America’s First Canine Lifeguards Making Waves


At Scarborough Beach State Park in Maine, two unique employees are making a splash, saving lives, and educating the public about swimming safety.

Meet the adorable Newfoundlands Beacon and Buoy, the first canine lifeguards to be employed by a public beach in the United States.

Acting as second responders, these furry heroes support their human colleagues during emergencies in the water.

Trained to Serve and Protect

Both Beacon and Buoy received their training from the American Academy of Canine Water Rescue. Beacon has been a dedicated member of the lifeguard team since last year, while the 11-month-old Buoy recently joined the ranks.

According to Greg Wilfert, the Park Manager, Buoy has made swift progress, perhaps even exceeding Beacon at the same age, thanks to the opportunity to train alongside the older dog.

Why Newfoundlands?

Newfoundlands have long been renowned for their superior swimming abilities, attributed to their large paws and insulating fluffy coats.

These qualities make them ideal for beach rescues, especially in colder waters. A bonus? These loveable canines are great team players and have become a hit with their co-workers at Scarborough Beach State Park.

america's pioneering canine lifeguards

Boosting Public Safety Awareness

Having Beacon and Buoy on the team has brought about an unforeseen benefit. More and more beachgoers, curious about these canine lifeguards, are approaching the lifeguard stand, leading to informative conversations about water safety.

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Ethan Schulz, one of 16 human employees at Scarborough Beach State Park, shares that such interactions often lead to questions about potential safety risks, enabling lifeguards to provide necessary precautions.

Children, in particular, are attracted to Beacon and Buoy, leading to an increased interest in water safety among younger beachgoers, says fellow lifeguard Carter Chen.

The work of these unique lifeguards goes beyond simple rescue operations, encompassing public safety education and community engagement. Watch Beacon and Buoy in action in this video, and don’t forget to share it with a dog lover you know!

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