Second straight South Jersey title captured before national audience - Ocean City Sentinel: Community

Second straight South Jersey title captured before national audience

By FRED MILLER OCBP Historian | Posted: Thursday, September 3, 2015 2:21 pm

OCEAN CITY — “Another solid year for OCBP, highlighted by SJ championship” was the headline in the Sept. 1, 2005, edition of the Ocean City Sentinel. The article began, “The wide beach, good weather, and warm water which drew record crowds (watch for a record number from the beach-taggers) to our eight-mile long oceanfront made the summer of ’05 a very busy season for the Ocean City Beach Patrol. The 150-member squad, nationally known for their lifesaving skills and athletic prowess, was prepared.”  

Under the leadership of the officer corps, the lifeguards upheld the patrol’s 107-year-old tradition of excellence in protecting beach users. The OCBP, a branch of the Ocean City Fire Department, was led by Fire Chief Joseph Foglio, Deputy Fire Chief Charlie Bowman, OCBP Chief Tom Mullineaux, Senior Lt. Mark Baum, Senior Lt. John McShane, Lt. Ron Kirk, Lt. Jeff Garbutt, Lt. Otis Reich, Lt. Joe Schmitt, Lt. Dennis Swan and Lt. Edwin Yust.

Beach Patrol medics, working at first aid stations located at 1st, 12th, 34th and 59th streets, handled many beach-related injuries and medical emergencies. The medics were: Senior Medic Aaron Sykes, Joe Canale, Shane Chisholm, Chris Dollarton, Chris Heacock, Carole Higgins, Maggie Long, Matt Steinthal and Lindsey Swiebel.

Jack Ruch kept the lifesaving equipment in top-notch condition.

A total of 20 lifeguards joined the OCBP after scoring high in the swimming, rowing and running tests. The following were in the 2005 rookie class: Peter Bernotto, Dan Bilyk, Matt Coffey, Tom DiSalvatore, Kacey Duffy, Ben Erb, Sam Feinstein, Matt Fender, Tom Frost, Mike Horne, Scott Kader, Paul Knepey, Andrew Mockaitis, Ryan O’Donnell, Julia Pustizzi, Stacey Rahter, Ben Raslavich, Stephen Ruff, Gene Taylor and Brooke Townsend. Matt Betson, Bob Cornell and Chris Egan joined the OCBP after spending many years on other South Jersey beach patrols.

Training Officer Bob Ogoreuc spent the summer teaching the rookie lifeguards ocean-rescue techniques and how to keep bathers out of dangerous rip currents. Joining Ogoreuc in the training and evaluation were the following senior guards: Brian Booth, Kristie Brown Chisholm, Chris Denn, Christy Johnson Firetto, Paul Gallagher, Matt Garbutt, Michael Hamilton, Mark Jamieson, Paul McCracken, Mark McElwee, Drew Muzslay and Steve Platt.

The winners — male and female — of the intra-squad races were: doubles rowing race — Dan and Matt Garbutt, Stephanie and Sandy Wilson; singles rowing race — Dan Garbutt, Jenna Townsend; swim race — Bryan Rahter, Wendy Wallace.

The local lifeguards competed in many intra-squad and inter-city races, but the one everyone remembers was held Aug. 12th on the 34th Street beach. The OCBP, in front of 5,000 spectators and a national audience watching ESPN, won their second straight South Jersey Championship. The rowers were Dan and Matt Garbutt and the swimmer was Paul Mangen.

The lifeguards and their friends celebrated another summer of excellence in the lifesaving profession at the 67th annual OCBP Reunion Party held at the VFW hall in Somers Point. The highlight of the evening was the induction of Dave Gleason, Joe Sheffer and Chris Oves into the OCBP Hall of Fame and the presentation of the Stowe Award to Angelo Psaltis.


Ocean City Beach Patrol Firsts


1882 — First man arrested for bathing on Sunday; George G. Lenning was fined $5.

1902 — “Be it ordained by the Common Council of the City of Ocean City, that no person or persons shall travel in or upon any of the streets or alleys of the City of Ocean City in abbreviated bathing robes, suits or other costumes of a similar nature, unless a suitable robe or covering shall be worn over said bathing robes or suits to properly cover their persons from public view.”

1960 — First time a 50-star American flag flew over the 10th Street Beach Patrol Headquarters.

1971 — “It is unlawful to swim or bathe beyond a safe depth in the ocean as from time to time, indicated, determined or regulated by the city lifeguards.”

1976 — First beach tag sold, $3 preseason; total collected $761,240.