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 www.ococean.com/ocbp. 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. 

July 4th Celebration Rescheduled, Fireworks on Saturday in Two Great Locations

fireworks(July 2, 2014) – It’s better to be safe than sorry and when the projected inclement weather threatened to impact Friday’s holiday fireworks celebration, Town of Ocean City officials agreed that rescheduling the event was the best bet! Both fireworks celebrations, one held at Northside Park and the other in the area of N. Division Street and the beach, have been rescheduled for Saturday, July 5.

“Due to the passing storm and the probable residual effects of the weather, including wind and rain, it would be logistically challenging to hold the fireworks shows on Friday,” commented Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan.  “We are expecting some wet weather on Thursday night and into Friday morning, which makes it nearly impossible to set-up the fireworks show on the beach in enough time for Friday night.  Alternatively, the weather over the weekend looks beautiful so Saturday is the safest choice.”

Aside from the date change, operations for the holiday will remain mostly the same.  The Town of Ocean City will still host celebrations in two great locations offering music and fireworks displays for free.  At Northside Park, 125th Street and the bay, The U.S. Army Drum Downrange and 10-year-old singing sensation Baylee Morrison will take the stage at 8 p.m. with the spectacular fireworks display lighting up the sky at 9:30 p.m.

On the south end of town, you can head to Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk with its bright lights, assortment of food, family fun and more fantastic fireworks. Performing the first show on the new Caroline Street Stage, Frankie & the Pack will take the stage at 8 p.m. with fireworks filling the sky beginning at 9:30 p.m.

The $50 flat-fee for all day parking in the Inlet Lot will now be applied on July 5.  The fee, which is good for one-entry, will allow visitors to come as early as 5:30 a.m. and stay as late as midnight, without being charged an hourly parking rate.  In addition, a late entry fee will be permitted based on availability at 3 p.m. for a fee of $30, also allowing one-entry only. Once the lot fills, visitors will be encouraged to use neighboring parking lots, including Worcester Street, Somerset Street, Dorchester Street, North Division Street, 4th Street and the West Ocean City Park & Ride. The normal “ticketed” parking operations will return at 12 a.m. on July 6.

Parking is extremely limited at both locations. It is recommended that visitors take the bus. Bus service is $3 ride all day. The West Ocean City Park & Ride on Route 50 is just west of the Route 50 Bridge and offers free parking and $3 ride-all-day shuttle service to downtown.  Also, area boaters should note that on the evening of July 5, the span of the Route 50 Bridge will remain closed to marine traffic at the usually scheduled 10:25 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. opening times. The Route 50 Bridge will reopen for boaters at 11:25 p.m. on the evening of July 5.

“The expected weather left a lot of uncertainty and several logistical complications on Friday evening,” Meehan continued.  “We know a lot of our guests are traveling a long distance to watch our holiday celebration and we would hate to have had to disappoint them.  The weather for Saturday, on the other hand, looks beautiful. With a beautiful setting and two great fireworks events, we hope our guests will come early and stay late to celebrate America’s birthday at the beach.”

For more information about the holiday activities, call Town of Ocean City Communications Manager, Jessica Waters, at 410.289.8967.

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Safety First on the Fourth of July

(July 1, 2014) – The Ocean City Fire Department would like to remind the visitors and citizens of the danger involved with consumer fireworks as the July 4th holiday approaches. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 1,200 structure fires and 400 vehicle fires.  These fires caused an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.  On average, close to 9,000 people each year are treated for fireworks related injuries.

 

“On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, which is more than any other cause of fire,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley.  “In addition to causing damage, fireworks can cause injuries and we want people to be safe during their holiday stay in Ocean City. The safety and wellbeing of all residents and visitors of the Town of Ocean City is the primary goal of the Ocean City Fire Department.”

 

Although the State of Maryland has approved the use of ground-based sparkling devices such as cylindrical and cone fountains, these are not legal to use or possess in Ocean City. All other fireworks that may be sold in neighboring states are not legal for use by the general public anywhere in Maryland. 

 

Within the Town of Ocean City, products such as handheld Gold labeled sparklers, “Snap-N-Pops”, “Black Cobra Snakes”, and “Party Poppers” are allowed to be used and possessed without a license.  However, injuries and property damage may still occur from these types of products, so parental supervision is always encouraged. 

 

Maryland law prohibits the shipping or transportation of fireworks into the state if the fireworks are to be possessed, used, sold, or distributed by citizens of Maryland.  Illegal fireworks found are subject to seizure by law enforcement authorities, and persons found in possession of illegal fireworks with the intent to use them run the risk of both criminal charges and the confiscation of the fireworks.  Fines for possession of illegal fireworks may be as much as $250, and those found selling or distributing illegal fireworks may be fined as much as $1000. 

 

Anyone with questions pertaining to fireworks should contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-289-8780.

Celebrate July Fourth in Ocean City, Free Fireworks and Concerts in Two Locations

fireworks(June 27, 2014) – If you are looking for fireworks with a view, then you want to celebrate your Fourth of July holiday in Ocean City. With your family and friends, beach chairs and blankets, watch the fireworks sparkle over the beautiful water in one of two great locations offering concerts and fireworks displays for free.

At Northside Park, 125th Street and the bay, The U.S. Army Band Downrange starts the evening off at 8 p.m. The spectacular fireworks display may be viewed from anywhere in the park at 9:30 p.m. with 10-year-old singing sensation Baylee Morrison leading the patriotic show with the National Anthem.  “You’ll hear the oohs and aahs throughout the park as families’ watch the colorful displays light up the evening sky,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We encourage spectators to get there early to claim their spot to watch the fireworks.”

On the south end of town, you can head to Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk with its bright lights, assortment of food, family fun and more fantastic fireworks. Frankie & the Pack will perform on the new Caroline Street Stage at 8 p.m. with fireworks filling the sky beginning at 9:30 p.m.  “The July 4th Celebration in Ocean City is a unique opportunity to watch fireworks sparkle over the ocean,” Meehan continued. “The celebration will also be the first time we have used our brand new stage at Caroline Street, so bring your beach chair or blanket and claim a spot on the beach for a special and patriotic display.”

The Town of Ocean City is making a change to normal parking operations in the Inlet Parking Lot on Friday, July 4, by charging a $50 flat-fee for all day parking.  The fee, which is good for one-entry, will allow visitors to come as early as 5:30 a.m. and stay as late as midnight, without being charged an hourly parking rate.  In addition, a late entry fee will be permitted based on availability at 3 p.m. for a fee of $30, also allowing one-entry only. Once the lot fills, visitors will be encouraged to use neighboring parking lots, including Worcester Street, Somerset Street, Dorchester Street, North Division Street, 4th Street and the West Ocean City Park & Ride. The normal “ticketed” parking operations will return at 12 a.m. on July 5.

Parking is extremely limited at both locations. It is recommended that visitors take the bus. Bus service is $3 ride all day. The West Ocean City Park & Ride on Route 50 is just west of the Route 50 Bridge and offers free parking and $3 ride-all-day shuttle service to downtown.  Also, area boaters should note that on the evening of July 4th, the span of the Route 50 Bridge will remain closed to marine traffic at the usually scheduled 10:25 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. opening times. The Route 50 Bridge will reopen for boaters at 11:25 p.m. on the evening of July 4th.

“The Fourth of July holiday is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to stay and play in Ocean City,” Meehan finished.  “With a beautiful setting and two great fireworks events, we hope our guests will come early and stay late to celebrate America’s birthday at the beach.” For more information about July 4th activities, call the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department at 410-250-0125, the Ocean City Department of Tourism at 1-800-626-2326, or visit www.ococean.com.

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Ocean City Fire Department Responds to Two Residential Fires within Four Minutes

Boat_Showell_005(June 27, 2014) – It wasn’t an average Thursday evening in Ocean City yesterday, as the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) was on the scene of two significant residential fires in Worcester County, occurring at the same time.  With the calls for service coming in to the Ocean City Commination’s Division only four minutes apart, the OCFD quickly responded to the areas of Riverview Drive and Old Bridge Road shortly after 7 p.m. on the evening of June 26.

The first call, recorded at 7:20 p.m, requested the assistance of the OCFD’s Fire Boat 1.  Responding to assist the Showell Fire Department, Fire Boat 1 arrived to the 11000 block of Riverview Drive and crew members immediately engaged in water supply operations.  In addition, in support of fire suppression operations, Fire Boat 1 supported efforts by placing its roof-mounted master stream in service.

Only a few minutes later, approximately 7:24 p.m., another call came into Communications for a house fire in the 12000 block of Old Bridge Road in West Ocean City.  Multiple alarms were called and units from Worcester and Wicomico County, as well as units from Delaware responded to the area.  “The response from all of the fire departments from the county, as well as our neighboring counties, was extraordinary,” commented Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore.  “It was a true demonstration of team work and I am extremely proud of the efforts of Ocean City’s first responders and those of our allied agencies.”

By 11 p.m. last night, OCFD units had cleared the area of both incidents.  No injuries were reported and the cause of the fires is now under investigation by the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office.  “I want to personally thank all of our first responders,” commented Deputy Chief David Cropper, who was the Incident Commander on scene of the fire at Old Bridge Road.  “It’s very unusual for us to have multiple residential fires at the same time, requiring such significant resources.  Our members were professional and did exactly as they are trained to do. They should be tremendously proud of their hard work because I am certainly proud of them.”

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