Early this morning, at 3:26am, an arsonist (or perhaps more than one) began to set fire to the Wedge lifeguard stand. Within minutes, the blaze was roaring.
At 3:41am, the fire department was called, and arrived shortly thereafter to extinguish what was left of the lifeguard stand.
As you can imagine, the city doesn’t have a bunch of lifeguard stands sitting around– but they do have one. An older stand, this leaves a few options: to haul the old one out for use, move “P” lifeguard stand down a bit and kind of “split the difference”, or simply assemble and EZ-Up tent for temporary use while a new stand is built. As summertime begins here in Newport, losing the lifeguard stand at one of the most dangerous beaches in the world is not a good thing at all.
Unique to this fire is the place where it was, the Wedge is loved and followed by countless people throughout the world. Losing the Wedge Tree just on Feb 17, 2017, the Wedge also saw Blackball begin this year again, on May 1.
In fact, this surf spot is so well-known that it has a life stream on Surfline, a popular surf-prediction website… And we’ve got the film– Here is is:
Beyond Surfline’s film, local Newport Wedge fans took to Instagram to document the dismantling of the remains of the iconic Wedge platform. Instagrammers Pat Towersy (“punkerpat”) and Robert Mansfield (“dingosaidso”) recorded this at the following URLs:
Special thanks to SaveNewporter Mike Madigan for the tip on this one. What a crazy morning!