FAQs

Q: What are the hours that the beaches are protected by life guards?
A: The beaches are protected by our Surf Rescue Technicians (SRTs) from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Q: Why do the life guards make people leave the beach when it is just a little bit of lightning?
A: We are in constant contact with the National Weather Service and receive storm announcements and warning well in advance of them arriving in Ocean City. We clear the beaches in advance of potential danger when settings are not safe. People have been struck by lightning and killed while on the beach in Ocean City and we do all that we can to prevent accidents and death.

Q: What exactly is an S.R.T.?
A: Ocean Rescue, or Surf Rescue, is significantly more challenging than pool or lake guarding. The job has far more responsibilities and included significantly more responsibility than that of a pool lifeguard. Because of these differences, our lifeguards are called Surf Rescue Technicians, or SRTs.

Q: When do the S.R.T.s start guarding the beaches?
A: The 10 miles of beach are guarded from the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend until the Sunday of Sunfest weekend (usually the 3rd weekend in September). At the end of the season, the number of personnel guarding the beach reduces as SRTs return to their off-season obligations. Therefore the distance between guards increases at this time. Beaches are guarded from 10:00am – 5:30pm seven days a week.

Q: What are the guards doing with the flags in their hands?
A: The S.R.T.s are communicating with each other using semaphore.

Q: What are the rules as far as what you can and cannot do on the beach?
A: Basically the Ocean City Beach Patrol regulates the use of beach activities. Click here to view the Beach Activities Ordinance.

Q: Does Ocean City, Maryland allow Uli boards (new product – inflatable surfboards) to be used between the hours of 10 and 5:30 during the Summer Season?
A: The fact that they have fins makes them not usable on a non-surfing beach. Boogie Boards with fins are also not allowed.

Q: Do you have any children’s programs at the beach?
A: Yes, we have our Junior Beach Patrol Program.

Q: What do you have to do to get a job as a life guard?
A: There is no certification or experience required. We pay while you learn. Click here for full details of how to become a Surf Rescue Technician with this elite organization.

Q: What are the rules as far as kinds of bathing suits that can be worn in Ocean City?
A: Maryland law prohibits public nudity. Ocean City, Maryland was voted an All American City. We pride ourselves for having the reputation of a top-notch family resort town.

Q: What are the rules for playing ball at the beach?
A: We do have rules for ball playing during the regular season. The ball playing is at the discretion of the Beach Patrol.

Q: Are there any surfing beaches in Ocean City?
A: Yes, we have two rotating surfing beaches. Click here for this year’s surfing beach schedule.

Q: Is there any handicap access to the beach?
A: Yes, click here for beach wheelchair information. Beach wheelchairs in boxes on the beach cannot be reserved. They are used on a first-come basis. Users must follow the restrictions. Users wishing to reserve a chair and transport it anywhere in Ocean City can check on availability and reservations at the O.C. public safety building located at 65th Street bayside.

Q: Is fishing allowed on the beach?
A: Surf Fishing is not allowed on the public beaches within the corporate limits of Ocean City between Friday of Memorial Day weekend to September 30 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. within 50 yards of swimmers or persons on the beach. Click here to view the Surf Fishing Ordinance.

Q: Can I take my pets on the beach?
A: The following activity is hereby expressly prohibited and declared unlawful: The Beach Activities Ordinance: Sec. 106-94. Prohibited acts. This is # 6 of the beach activities ordinance: For the owner or keeper of any animal to allow said animal to be upon the beaches within Ocean City at any time during the period from May 1 through September 30 of each year, whether said animal is leashed or otherwise.

Q: Can you barbecue on the beach after the life guards leave in the evening?
A: No, City Ordinance prohibits fires on the beach. However, you can apply to the Fire Marshal’s Office for a permit.

Q: What kind of boogie boards are prohibited in the water during the “day?” Are there any regulations on this?
A: Soft top body board. A flexible, semi-soft, buoyant, semi-curved object, no longer than 54 inches and no wider than two feet and no thicker than four inches, made of a closed-cell polyethylene foam or similar material and possibly but not always having a smooth plastic layer attached to the bottom and without rigid or semi-rigid attachments or protrusions for aid in steering or movements which serve as a rudder and commonly referred to as “skegs.”

Q: Can I play Volleyball on the beach?
A: Yes, You must get permission from the Beach Patrol.