Who was Derek Traeger? LA County lifeguard dies in traffic accident

Tributes are flooding the internet for a lifeguard named Derek Traeger who sadly died on Sunday the 14th. ABC reports.

The Lifeguard Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department announced His death in a statement, writing, “It is with great sadness the LA Co lifeguards share the active death of Ocean Lifeguard Derek Traeger.”

Specific details of his death were not released, but the LA County Coroner’s Office said he died in a freeway accident.

Who was Derek Traeger? Here’s everything we know about the lifeguard…

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Who was Derek Traeger?

Derek Traeger, 28, was a Los Angeles County Lifeguard assigned to Santa Monica North Beaches.

He served Los Angeles County for six years, making sure everyone was safe on some of California’s most popular beaches.

According to a biography on Swimming with Monhe grew up in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he learned to swim and surf.

He then served as an LA County junior lifeguard for nine years and a cadet for two years before becoming a lifeguard for the city of Los Angeles.

Derek has always had an interest in water and has been the captain of the San Pedro High surf team and swimming instructor since 2011.

The 28-year-old also studied at California State University Long Beach.

LA County lifeguards pay tribute to Derek

On Twitter, the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division paid up tribute to the young lifeguard and shared a series of photos of him on duty.

“Ocean Lifeguard Traeger served loyally to Los Angeles County for 6 years and was most recently assigned to Santa Monica North Beaches,” they wrote.

“OL Traeger understood better than most what it means to wear the red shorts. His passion for life, art, the sea and his lifeguard family was evident in every moment he lived.”

“The @lacountyfd Peer Support Team has been activated and services are available to family and team members,” they continued.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of OL Traeger. More information will be shared as it becomes available.”

More tributes to the lifeguards from LA Twitter

It seems like Derek is well known in Los Angeles County and many are paying tribute to him on Twitter.

A mother shared a photo the lifeguard with her son, writing: “Derek helped deal with my son’s stingray incident this summer. I am so sad to hear of the passing of this young man.”

“Apologies for the loss of lifeguard Derek Traeger. Our thoughts and prayers to your brothers and sisters @LACOFD,” said Another.

A third person added, “Rest in peace OL Derek Traeger.”

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

Lifeguard tragically killed in lightning strike

Unfortunately, a lifeguard was absent in September 2021 killed and seven others were injured after lightning struck a beach in New Jersey.

Keith Pinto, 19, was struck by lightning on White Sands Beach in South Seaside Park and died at the scene, with many others requiring medical attention at a local hospital.

Four of the seven injured were also lifeguards and locals were advised to avoid beaches because of the unpredictable weather.

“This is a tragic and heartbreaking day for our city and the entire Jersey Shore,” the mayor of Berkeley Township said in a statement.

“This young human was out there every day protecting the lives of others. Our lifeguard teams, like so many along the coast, build special bonds with our community throughout the summer, making this loss even greater.”

In other news: How much was Chris Pratt paid for Jurassic World?

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Zack Zwiezen

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