Newport Beach lifeguard Buddy Belshe, seen here in 2007. He died this week at age 78.

Newport Beach lifeguard Buddy Belshe, seen here in 2007. He died this week at age 78. (FILE PHOTO / December 20, 2012)

Longtime Newport Beach lifeguard Buddy Belshe, a fixture along the water for decades, has died. He was 78.

Belshe suffered from Alzheimer's disease, according to Corona del Mar Today, which broke the news of his death.

"In 1950, when he was 16 years old, Belshe began work as a lifeguard in Huntington Beach and was hired in 1960 to be a full-time division supervisor in Newport Beach," according to Corona del Mar Today. "He retired as the city's operations captain in 1987 but missed it and returned to work the next year as a seasonal guard.

"He spent 19 summers working at Big Corona until he retired in 2007 because of an on-duty injury."

For more, read about his life at Corona del Mar Today.

— Daily Pilot Staff Reports