Local beach patrols nearly ready for summer

Area beach patrols are right on track for lifeguard staffing at coastal Delaware beaches this summer. Despite beach patrols in other areas citing struggles to find adequate recruits, local lifeguard captains say their seasonal employment efforts are going just fine.

According to Dave Griffith, beach patrol manager at Sea Colony, his patrol is “just about’ fully staffed now and is looking good going into the 2008 season. They have the same number of guards as last year, with one or two extra, because the lifeguards are taking over some added security patrol duties.

Sea Colony has about 70 percent of their guards returning from 2007 and will employ about 22 or 23 people. Sea Colony guards are on the beach from Memorial Day until Labor Day and throughout the month of September.

“We’re looking good. We are looking forward to a good season like everybody else,” said Griffith.

Tim Ferry, captain of the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol, has the same sentiments, with 26 of his 30 guards coming back for the 2008 season.

“We are in pretty good shape. We have a solid group of people that have bought into the program,” said Ferry. “We’ve tried to create an environment where we are competitive with our salaries, have good uniforms and we work out hard, and we compete well. We’ve made our mark these past few years. People want to be a part of that, and we get more and more experienced each year.”

Fenwick Island guards work from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day and weekends in September. They start full-time, every day, on June 14.

Ferry said he is still “definitely looking” at people to fill those remaining four spots, with tryouts set for Sunday, May 25. For more information, call Fenwick Island Town Hall at (302) 539-3011.

Bethany Beach Patrol Capt. Joe Donnelly said that his town’s beach patrol is nearly at full capacity, with 31 guards. Bethany Beach guards are on patrol from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and on weekends throughout September.

For more information on the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol visit www.fenwickisland.org. For more information on the Bethany Beach Patrol visit www.townofbethanybeach.com. For more information on the South Bethany Beach patrol visit www.southbethany.org.