OC Guard Makes Off-Duty Rescue

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City surf rescue technician (SRT) and his mother are receiving commendations from the Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) this weekend after an off-duty rescue last Sunday evening.

Shortly after 6 p.m. last Sunday, a 911 call went out for a swimmer on a blow-up raft in distress in the ocean in the area of 68th Street. The call went out about a half an hour after the OCBP had gone off duty for the day, and officers still on regular patrol on an all-terrain vehicle, or quad, started to respond to the scene.

In the meantime, the mother of OCBP Surf Rescue Technician Adam Grant, who either lives or was staying in the area of 68th Street, observed the unfolding drama and called her son.

Grant, who is assigned to 60th Street, responded quickly to the scene, went into the water and rescued the distressed swimmer before the other OCBP officers arrived.

“There was a guy in trouble on a raft and Adam’s mom called him to report it,” said OCBP Captain Butch Arbin. “He is assigned to 60th Street, and I don’t know if he was on his way home or how far away he was, but got to the scene quickly and made the rescue.”

Arbin said Grant, and his mother, were going to be recognized for their combined efforts to rescue the distressed swimmer.

“They’re going to get commendations,” he said. “Adam for making the rescue while off duty, and his mom for her quick thinking that got him to the scene.”

The entire incident would not have occurred if the near victim and others followed the OCBP’s time-honored mantra “keep your feet in the stand until the lifeguard’s on the stand.”

Throughout the summer season, similar incidents occur when visitors choose to go swimming in the ocean when the OCBP is not on duty. The Beach Patrol signs off at 5:30 at the stands each day, although crews remain on duty patrolling the beach and the water on the quad.

“This would have been a non-story if the individual had heeded the advice we have said over and over about the importance of swimming only when a lifeguard is on the stand,” said Arbin. “We can’t stress that enough, but we still have to get that message out constantly.”