The number of people visiting U.S. beaches increased in 2007 to more than 240 million people. This increase in activities does not come without danger. Lifeguards maintain beach safety, but little research is available to assist us in determining appropriate certification levels for lifeguards. The authors analyzed various injuries that occurred in the open-water environment of Huntington Beach, CA. Based on the nature of the injuries, they attempted to determine the level of training lifeguards needed. The vast majority of injuries (99%) were soft-tissue injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, or environmental injuries. It was felt that lifeguards with first-aid and basic-life-support (BLS) -level training were able to handle these injuries adequately and that advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) was not necessary. Injuries that happened at Huntington Beach primarily required lifeguards with first-aid and BLS training. It does not seem necessary that all open-water lifeguards be trained in ACLS.