'There was such a significance for this event to be held on Easter weekend,' the family statement read. 'There is definitely no better way to honor Bobby.'
A late retired Volusia County Beach Safety officer was recently given a final honorable send-off.
Robert Joseph Augustynowski was a dedicated Beach Safety officer until his retirement in 2014, having started as a lifeguard in 1981, according to a family statement. He died on Oct. 15, 2021.
On Saturday, April 16, during the weekend of Easter, the Augustynowski family, friends, community and Volusia County Beach Safety held a paddle-out ceremony for Augustynowski. The ceremony began with prayer and followed by words from his closest friends, including statements shared by his children and wife Jackie, to whom he'd been married for 20 years. Then, experienced surfers took on a challenging paddle-out, as Augustynowski's wife and children rode on a jet ski.
"There was such a significance for this event to be held on Easter weekend," the family statement read. "There is definitely no better way to honor Bobby."
During his 33 years with Beach Safety, Augustynowski, was awarded two medals of valor. He retired in 2014 on Good Friday from the same Ormond lifeguard station his paddle-out ceremony was held.
"Bobby's legacy lives on as so much more than as a respected beach patrol officer for 33 years," the statement continues. "His legacy continues on through both his children, with significance that his son Seth's desired to become a lifeguard three years ago at the age of 16." It was prevalent that it was in Seth's blood to compete in lifeguard competitions just as his dad did for so many years."
Particularly the beach flags competitions . Both his son Seth and daughter Bre started participating at 9 years old in junior lifeguard camp, and always looked forward to the competitions.
Last summer in 2021, Seth Augustynowski competed in a lifeguard competition called Interzones, and was stationed at his father's former beach patrol zone in Ormond Beach. But this time, also facing his captain, Myles Camputaro, a dear friend of his father and an equally fierce competitor. Seth Augustynowski made it to the final round and won.
"Bobby could not have been more proud of his son and to be there to cherish that moment," the statement reads. "A picture of Bobby, Seth and Myles holding the winning flag will live on in our beautiful memories of the legacy that Bobby Augustynowski leaves us. He lives on in the better parts of us."