Memorial Plank Saved From Wedge Lifeguard Tower Fire

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Newport Beach Lifeguard Captain Jon Mitchell (center) with the salvaged memorial plank and city workers.
— Courtesy NBFD

Newport Beach city officials announced this week that, following the recent fire of the iconic Newport Beach Lifeguard Tower near the Wedge, lifeguard Tower P was moved over to the Wedge in preparation for the start of summer.

A blaze destroyed the tower near the popular surf spot early morning last Friday. Officials are investigating the cause of the fire. A surfline video shows that it could be arson.

Lifeguards will continue to patrol the area of Tower P with a roving lifeguard based out of the Wedge Tower, Newport Beach Fire Department officials confirmed in a statement shared on Monday.

The city is also working on building a new Wedge lifeguard tower to replace the destroyed tower.

Below the deck of the Wedge tower was a memorial plank with the names of several local waterman, including lifeguard Ben Carlson, who died in the line of duty in 2014.

The City’s Public Works Department was able to salvage and preserve the plank. It is currently being stored at lifeguard headquarters.

The city is investigating options for the restoration of the memorial plank, including reinstalling it on the replacement Wedge tower, or repurposing it in a way that respects and honors the named watermen.

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