Last August, Gareth Chapman was trying to keep a group out of trouble off WindanSea Beach when he got hit by a big wave. "I tried to tuck my head, but I ended up on the crown of my head," he said.
Chapman was momentarily paralyzed, and it turns out he broke a vertebra in his neck and on in his back.
But while the recovery is lengthy, he's expected to make a full one.
Chapman's health care has been covered, but everything still has to be approved under workmen's comp, and as a seasonal lifeguard, he doesn't get the benefits that full-time guards get.,What's more, according to the Lifeguards Union, full-timers don't have what the city's police and firefighters have.
So lifeguards have announced a fundraising effort for the South African, who is not able to work at his off-season job and is getting $250 under workmen's comp.
The fundraising includes donations to the lifeguard website and an event next Wednesday at Galaxy Taco, in La Jolla Shores. Galaxy is located at 2259 Avenida de la Playa.