By Scott Marx
Continuing a years-old tradition, the 2018 Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue team was announced Monday, May 3. The initial roster was posted at the Wrightsville Beach Fire Department this morning filling more than 30 full time and 30 part time positions for the 2018 summer season. The final list will be released in the next few weeks after candidates complete CPR, First Responder and Rescue training programs.
“I’m really excited about the squad this year,” commented Parker Galloway. A full-time firefighter in Pender Country, Galloway is returning for his second year on the team. “We had a really strong turn out from the EMT community and with a lot of veterans returning, the team should be as strong as ever.”
Led by Ocean Rescue Director Dave Baker and Lifeguard Cap. Jeremy Owen, the fire department’s ocean rescue squad is responsible for ensuring public safety on the beach strand. Lifeguards also assist bathers by providing public information, recovering lost children, and enforcing beach regulations. The Ocean Rescue Team staffs our lifeguard stands from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days per week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
“Our team staffs 13 lifeguard stands, and we also patrol the beach strand with all-terrain vehicles and a personal watercraft,” commented Baker. “We want people to be safe – talk to the lifeguards, swim in front of life guard stands as much as possible, and most importantly, if you don’t know how to swim, stay out of the ocean,” he added
Owens said that Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue had nearly 70 prospective lifeguards try out, including several veterans aiming to return to the squad.
“We had some great candidates, I’m really happy with the team we selected,” Owens said.