The primary purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is to provide entry-level
lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic
emergencies and to provide professional-level care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries
and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over.
1. Be at least 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course.
2. Swim 300 yards, continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing.
Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both, but
swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.
3. Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under
4. Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:
▪ Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. Swim goggles are not allowed.
▪ Surface dive, feet-first or headfirst, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.
▪ Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point with
both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so they are able
to get a breath.
▪ Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.
Blended Learning Full Certification