Inheritance is an extension of the past to ensure the future.

In 1973 the Kawasaki JS 400 was soon to make an appearance. The Jet Ski® was destined to revolutionize lifesaving and we didn’t even know it at that time. Not until 1974 were those waters tested. And Kawasaki got right to business!

Wake of Fame Inductee

Wake of Fame inductee Steve Stricklin who was working for Kawasaki during this time began showing the stand up Jet Skis to local southern California Lifeguards.



Steve is the inventor of a towable accessory device (TAD) for Personal Water Craft which eventually arrived to the modern rescue boards used today. He affixed a piece of indoor/outdoor green carpet by using rivets to the stern boarding area of a JS400.

On behalf of Kawasaki Motors Corporation USA, Steve went to Huntington Beach City Lifeguards bringing with him one of the Jet Skis and gave them a demonstration. This was the very first interaction of public service agencies being exposed to the potential of lifesaving using this unique new power craft.

A Stand Up Jet Ski in those days required great skill to manage in the surf zone. Lifeguards took off on them kneeling in the tray area. Since lifeguards were surfers they had pretty good balance and picked up on them for their first demos quickly.


We’ve come a long way since those days. We inherited an incredible legacy from these early pioneers.

We owe it to them to maintain the same standards we received from them:

1. Know the Jet Ski®
2. Know the Environment You Operate in
3. Maintain the Jet Ski®
4. Don’t Wipeout and Don’t Lose your Jet Ski®
5. Head out Safe and Come Back Safe
6. The more you ride the better you get

When you inherit something valuable, it is up to you to maintain it and to look after it and ensure that you can pass it along to the next generation.

Lifesaving is a calling. It's practicality rests in the assets and tools used for the job and the mentality of those Coxswains and instructors manning the helm.

And don’t forget these immortal words of Brian Bendix Wake of Fame inductee and first generation Jet Skier:

“A moment for safety will save a lifetime of regret”.


Posted 1.12.2019

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.