El Galeon will Set Sail Tomorrow, Leaving Ocean City after Successful Month Long Stay

tallshiplgAfter more than a month’s stay in Ocean City, the Galeon Andalucia will be departing the resort early on Friday, September 5.  With a sunrise departure planned for as early as 6:15 a.m., the 16th century vessel is expected to begin its journey to the Baltimore area.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the event,” commented Special Events Director Frank Miller.  “The El Galeon offers a unique draw to our residents and visitors.  Having the opportunity to tour the only Galeon class vessel sailing the open seas today while visiting Ocean City, its boardwalk and beach is a rare experience.”

According organizers from the National Air, Sea and Space Foundation, several thousand visitors stepped aboard the ship during the five week stay in Ocean City.  “Although final numbers are not available, it was a well-attended experience with thousands of tickets sold,” Miller continued. “Locals and tourists from as far as Canada and a handful from abroad, with ages ranging from 3-years-old to 102, toured the Spanish vessel, so it was clearly an event for all ages.”

Along with the regular admission, the tall ship hosted several school groups from the lower shore during the past several weeks.  “The ability to open the ship to school groups had several benefits,” Miller finished.  “The students had an opportunity to step back in time, meet and interact with members of the Spanish crew, and complete special projects custom-designed for the Galleon by the teachers which made the visit fun and educational.”

If you wish to watch the vessel depart Maryland’s eastern shore, plan to be near the inlet and bay no later than 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. The departure window is based on weather and tidal conditions so the Galeon Andalucia is expected to be underway between 6:15am and 7:30am.

To view more information or to check the ships schedule, please visit: http://www.tallshipevent.com/Home_Page.html.




Employees Celebrated During 10th Annual Boardwalk Employee Appreciation

(September 2, 2014) – The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) recognized the Town of Ocean City’s Boardwalk maintenance crews for a job well done over the summer season on Labor Day, Monday, September 1. This marks the tenth year the OCDC has publicly recognizing the efforts of the Public Works crew beneath the Boardwalk Arch at N. Division Street.

The Boardwalk employees, who are responsible for everything from sweeping and grooming the sand to emptying the hundreds of trash cans both on the Boardwalk and in the downtown area to ensuring everything’s working properly in the comfort stations, were presented gift bags provided by Boardwalk merchants, hoteliers and restaurateurs, which includes many OCDC members. In addition, special envelopes were compiled with various gifts from merchants that will be given to employees throughout the year for special recognition. 

“The Boardwalk wouldn’t be the same without the hard work of our Boardwalk employees,” said Vicki Barrett, the chair of the OCDC’s Boardwalk Committee.  “Most of their work in unseen by our residents and visitors but it is noticed by the businesses that depend on a clean beach and Boardwalk for a successful summer each year.”

This year, more than 15 businesses donated to the Boardwalk Employee Appreciation ceremony. Following the ceremony, the employees were treated to pizza from the landmark Tony’s Pizza and subs from Pizza Boy.  “We have a very dedicated and hard working group of individuals who help keep Ocean City’s Boardwalk and beach in tip-top shape for our residents and visitors to enjoy,” said John VanFossen, Deputy Director of Public Works.  “It is quite an honor to have our local business community recognize their hard work and commitment to the Town, especially the downtown area.”



Ocean City Emergency Services Urges Visitors to “Know Your Address”

(September 2, 2014) – Knowing your address might seem like something that should have been learned in elementary school, however; the Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department insists that all too often callers don’t know their location.  The address, which may not seem like a “must know” to visitors, can be critical for first responders during emergency and lifesaving response time.


“Most of our visitors disregard the address where they’re staying as soon as they arrive,” said Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald.  “Once they turn off their GPS and park their car, they are officially in vacation mode, which is exactly what we want. Unfortunately, if one of our visitors is in need of medical attention or calls 911 for emergency response, they often times don’t know their location and it can be quite challenging for our personnel to try to determine where they are located rather than immediately sending help their way.”


Also, due to the decreased use of landline telephones, Theobald notes that emergency dispatchers are not able to get an exact location for callers.  “Most of our calls come from cell phones, and while they do give GPS locations, it is often inaccurate,” Theobald continued.  “Unless they are calling from a landline, the GPS does not give an exact location and this greatly delays getting our visitors help.”


The Emergency Services Department is currently working with the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association to make addresses more visible for visitors, as well as inform customers to know their address when they check-in.  Owners of rental properties are encouraged to display a complete address, including the name of the building, on the back of the front door of their rental.  Lastly, visitors are encouraged to know where they’re staying.


“We certainly hope our visitors never need to call us,” Theobald finished.  “But in the worst case, if they need us during their trip to Ocean City, we want to be there for them and we want to be there fast.”




Ocean City Public Safety Personnel Respond to After Hours Rescue

Shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26, Ocean City Communications received a call for a swimmer in distress in the Inlet. First responders were immediately dispatched to the area, including Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) rescue swimmers. In addition, several off-duty beach patrol employees were the first to the scene, arriving only minutes after the call.

According to witnesses, an 18-year-old male victim appeared to be stuck in a rip current and was having difficulty getting back to shore. Witnesses stated that at one point the victim was overtaken by a wave, submerged and did not resurface.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Surf Rescue Technicians (SRT) and OCFD rescue swimmers began a search of the area and located the victim approximately 13 minutes after the initial call. The victim was treated on scene by EMS personnel and then transported to Atlantic General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

As we enter into a very busy weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol reminds beachgoers to keep your feet in the sand until a lifeguard is in the stand. Due to the tropical storm activity, which is normal for this time of year, causing larger surf and increased rip current activity, swimming restrictions are likely to be put in effect. In addition, beach patrons should swim in front of a lifeguard and always check with a lifeguard to learn about the current ocean conditions.

Update from Communications Manager, Jessica Waters: (Wednesday, August 27, 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 Jose Maudiel Hernandez, from Manassass, VA, was pronounce 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 busy Labor Day weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol reminds beachgoers to check in with the lifeguard on duty every time you come to the beach. An increase in strong rip currents can be seen on our coast because of tropical storm activity off-shore. Beach patrons are reminded that there are swimming restrictions in effect until further notice. Swimmers are asked to remain knee deep in the water or less. Citizens are also strongly encouraged to only swim when lifeguards are on duty.

Long Term Town of Ocean City Employees Retire from Public Works Department

(charliebuntingAugust 26, 2014) – Charles Bunting and Frank Marshall have retired after almost 70 years of combined employment with the Town of Ocean City.  Marshal, who joined the town full-time in September of 1974, retires as the Construction Supervisor for the Public Works Department.  Also leaving the department, Bunting will be finishing his last day in the maintenance division almost 30 years to the date of his hire on August 27, 1984.

Marshall, who worked for the Town of Pocomoke before coming to Ocean City, was involved in numerous projects during his career with the town, including the Beach Replenishment Program.  In addition to his role in Ocean City, Marshall was an active member of the United States Army, where he served his country for six years.  Bunting, who worked for the maintenance division of public works, helped keep Ocean City clean and maintained for residents and visitors.  During his career, Bunting operated small and heavy equipment including beach tractors and street brooms.  Before his time with public works, Bunting worked for Worcester County and with the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department, where he helped maintain facilities at Northside Park, as well as other park locations in town.

“I’m looking forward to traveling with my family and relaxing and enjoying my life,” Marshall said.  “I am very thankful to the Town of Ocean City, the City Council and my co-workers who continue to work together for the community.”

Bunting also plans to enjoy his family members, further his education, continue his work with the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company, where he is a Gold Bade Member, and travel.  “Basically, I have done it all serving the town’s residents, vacationers and visitors during my 30 year career,” Bunting added.  “I was born and raised in Ocean City and attended kindergarten through 6th grade at the old Ocean City School which is now City Hall. Now that I am retired, I am going to have a chance to enjoy this community even more.”

Recently married, Bunting added that he and his new bride also plan to do some traveling. “I am looking forward to spending some time fishing. In fact, we are leaving town tomorrow for our first trip.”