Participants gather for the annual Don Burns swim off Big Corona State Beach on Saturday.

Participants gather for the annual Don Burns swim off Big Corona State Beach on Saturday. (Courtesy Nadine Turner / August 27, 2012)

Hundreds of swimmers participated in the annual Don Burns swim Saturday off Big Corona State Beach, Corona del Mar Today reported.

The first place overall swimmer was Robert Margalis with a time of 17:23, and the first female overall swimmer was Cynthia Lewis with a time of 18:13.

A total of 279 swimmers checked in, and 265 swimmers finished the one-mile course, organizers said.

Don Burns was a beloved Newport Beach lifeguard, instructor and cadet coordinator from 1956 until 1993; he died 19 years ago.

Beyond being a lifeguard, Don Burns played football at USC, was a teacher and coach for more than 30 years at Newport Harbor High School, Costa Mesa High School and Estancia. He was Costa Mesa High School’s first varsity football coach, and he crewed on the famous catamaran Polycon in the Transpacific Yacht race twice for Los Angeles to Honolulu.