Spooner Spotlight: Ben Carlson Foundation

Posted on July 07, 2022

Spooner Spotlight: Ben Carlson Foundation

During his life, Ben Carlson was a hero who saved countless lives guarding the Newport Beach coastline until he tragically lost his life during a rescue in 2014.

The Ben Carlson Foundation was created to honor the life of Ben and the things that mattered most to him. Learn more about the incredible work the Foundation does to preserve the legacy of this hero.

On July 6th, 2014, lifeguards Ben Carlson and Gary Conwell were patrolling the turbulent waters when they spotted a distressed swimmer. Ben jumped in to help the swimmer, and during the rescue, the pair got hit by a large wave. The rescuee made it to the boat, but sadly Ben did not.

30 mile paddle from Newport to Catalina to raise money for the Ben Carlson Foundation

Ben proudly served the Newport Beach Lifeguards for 15 years. He was a lover of the ocean and an accomplished waterman who surfed big waves around the world. He gained his love and appreciation of the water from his family, who introduced him to the ocean during a lifetime of beach-going, surfing and sailing.


The memory of Ben is carried on by his friends, family and fellow lifeguards, and the larger community of Newport Beach. Following Ben's passing, the Ben Carlson Memorial & Scholarship Foundation was formed to leverage Ben Carlson's legacy through doing positive work in his memory.

Today, the Foundation continues to operate in Ben's name, providing annual scholarships, serving under-resourced children, and most importantly, working to develop and improve systems to protect lifeguards and the public from a beautiful but unforgiving ocean.

A statue of Ben is displayed prominently near the Newport Pier, just steps away from where Ben made his last rescue. 


We are excited to announce our partnership with the Ben Carlson Memorial & Scholarship Foundation in conjunction with the re-release of our archive print, Lifeguards. Your purchase of this Aloha shirt enables Reyn Spooner to support the Foundation.




Watch the Ben Carlson story on Amazon >    

Donate to the Ben Carlson Foundation >