Category Archives: Ocean City Beach Patrol

Captain Robert S. Craig Annual Boardwalk Swim & Ginny Craig Quarter Mile Boardwalk Swim

(July 7, 2014) – The Ocean City Beach Patrol will host the annual Boardwalk swim to honor Captain Robert Craig on July 12, 2014 at 6 p.m. on 14th Street and the Boardwalk. Competitors will swim a measured mile with the prevailing current to a finish line located at 14th Street and the beach. In addition to the annual one mile Boardwalk swim, the Ginny Craig quarter mile swim will take competitors on a 400m distance along the coast and also finish in the area of 14th Street and the beach.


Participants will compete under the watchful eye of surf rescue technicians deployed in the water, on the beach and in rescue boats. “This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in open-water swimming,” said Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin. “The Ginny Craig quarter mile swim is a good training distance to work up to the Captain Craig mile swim. What is really special is the one mile swim can also qualify participants for the first annual “Swim Ocean City” event, which is a three mile event, in addition to a nine mile race.”


The event is named in honor of the late Captain Craig who served as Captain of the Ocean City Beach Patrol from 1935-1986. Throughout his 52 years of service to the Town of Ocean City, Captain Craig molded the Ocean City Beach Patrol into what it is today.  One of the first procedures he changed was the training and recruiting process, requiring each person interested in becoming a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol to fill out a written application and complete a physical assessment. If they successfully completed the test, Captain Craig continued their education, by assigning an experienced guard for further instruction in spotting rip currents, knowledge of waves and what to look for so that preventive measures could be taken before difficulties occurred.  Captain Craig also introduced semaphore to the patrol, and it is still used for communication between guards to supplement radio communication.


A registration form for the Boardwalk swim can be completed on-line at Those participants who register early will be offered a discounted price if the form is completed before July 19, 2014. Participants will still be required to check-in on the day of the competition, pay the registration fee, which is $20 if pre-registered before July 9, 2014 or $25 race-day registration, and complete the proper paperwork before being permitted to compete. The registration fee includes certificates for the top three finishers in each category and a t-shirt for all participants. 

One Swimmer Hospitalized After Afternoon Water Rescue

A quiet afternoon on the beach took an alarming turn today as several first responders searched the water for a missing swimmer.  Shortly after 4:30 p.m., Ocean City Communications reported a water rescue in progress.

According to the initial report, three swimmers entered the ocean in the area of 137th street and were caught in a reported rip current.  An Ocean City Beach Patrol Surf Rescue Technician was the first to enter the water, quickly rescuing two of the swimmers. The third swimmer, whose name is not being released, was unable to be immediately located.

In all, 15 rescue swimmers from the town’s Beach Patrol and Fire Department responded and were eventually able to locate the victim.  Also helping in the rescue were Maryland State Police Trooper 4 and the United States’ Coast Guard personnel. The victim, an 18-year-old from Montgomery County, was treated on scene by EMS personnel and then transported to Atlantic General Hospital.  His current condition is unknown.


Update from Communications Manger, Jessica Waters: (Tuesday, June 3, 2014):  Despite an extraordinary effort by our public safety personnel, including our Beach Patrol and Fire Department rescue swimmers, the life saving measures after yesterday’s water rescue were unsuccessful.  The victim, 18-year-old Don Pen Soh Boma, from Burtonsville, MD, was pronounced deceased at Atlantic General Hospital last evening. 


Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to the family, friends and loved ones of the victim.  On behalf of the entire Town of Ocean City, our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult time.


As we enter into a very busy weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol reminds beachgoers to check in with the lifeguard on duty every time you come to the beach.  The lifeguard will inform you of current conditions in your area of the beach, including signs of inclement weather, rip currents and dangerous shorebreaks.

Ocean City Beach Patrol conducts Surf Rescue Academy “Rookie” Training

The Ocean City Beach Patrol starts guarding the 10 miles of Ocean City beaches on Saturday, May 24. Before taking the stands, the rookie personnel will have to complete training during the Ocean City Beach Patrol’s Surf Rescue Academy.

The first training academy begins Sunday, May 18, with the enrollment of 16 new employees. The proceeding academy will begin, Sunday, June 16, however; the Beach Patrol will be conducting the pre-employment physical skill evaluation for this academy on Saturday, June 7.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol is specifically looking for individuals who are available to work through the end of the department’s summer season, which is scheduled to end on Sunday, September 21. Although applicants are not required to have any experience or previous certifications, all rookie Surf Rescue Technicians must successfully complete the Pre-employment physical skill evaluation.

The pre-employment evaluation is a 12 phase process, which lasts approximately six hours, and is concluded with an interview. If offered a position as a Surf Rescue Technician, the employee will complete a 65 hour Surf Rescue Academy, which consists of physical skills training and classroom instruction. Upon completion of the Surf Rescue Academy, and a mandatory drug test, the Surf Rescue Technician (lifeguard) will have all the required training and certification necessary to take a stand on one of Ocean City’s beaches.

For more information, or to register for an opportunity to be a Surf Rescue Technician, visit the Beach Patrol website.