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OCBP Celebrates Its 125th Anniversary

OCBP Celebrates Its 125th Anniversary


The Ocean City Beach Patrol will mark its 125th anniversary with four days of events and activities starting on Thursday, Aug. 10.

As Ocean City began to grow in popularity as a summer vacation destination, the city hired its first three lifeguards – Joseph Krauss, George Lee and William Scull – in 1898. The resort became one of the first in the nation to pay to protect bathers.

A former member of the U.S. Life Saving Service, Jack Jernee, became captain of the lifeguards in 1920 and is credited with turning the “Ocean City Beach Patrol” into the renowned organization it is today. In the years since then, the OCBP has continued to take pride in its record of safety and bather protection.

“Providing a safe place for families to enjoy their summers is what Ocean City is all about,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in a news release. “The Ocean City Beach Patrol has always been a big part of that, and I’m proud of their good work.”

The anniversary events include: 


  • 9 a.m.: OCBP alumni who served in the military will be part of the Boardwalk Flag-Raising Ceremony
  • 10:30 a.m.: Lifeguards, lifeguard alumni and surf boats will be part of the Baby Parade on the Boardwalk.
  • 7 p.m.: The public is invited to a free “History of Surf Rescue” Lecture at the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall at the Ocean City Free Public Library (1735 Simpson Ave.). This will be a presentation on surf rescue equipment, techniques and technology from 1850s to the present. The adjacent Historical Museum will be open at 6:30 p.m. for viewing of the OCBP’s 125th anniversary artifacts and pictures. 


  • 12 p.m.: OCBP alumni will sponsor and assist in distributing lunch for the current OCBP lifeguards.
  • 6:30 p.m.: The OCBP will compete in the South Jersey Lifeguard Championships at Decatur Avenue Beach in Margate.


  • 5:30 p.m.: OCBP will have its annual Hall of Fame Induction at the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall at the Ocean City Free Public Library (1735 Simpson Ave.). Rachel Boudart Kyle and Graham Parker will be inducted. The Bob Stowe Award will be given to the Derr Family and Corby Derr.
  • 7 p.m:  A private celebration of the 125 years of the Ocean City Beach Patrol


  • 5:30 p.m.: The public is invited to watch the Schmitt Relays Zone Competition on the beach at 12th Street. This friendly event was founded by the late Lt. Joe Schmitt as a way to foster competition between the OCBP’s four geographic zones. It’s a great opportunity to watch your beach’s guards in action.