Fenwick To Help Lifeguard With Australia Trip

FENWICK ISLAND – A donation from the Fenwick Island Town Council is expected to help a local lifeguard make her way to an international lifesaving competition in Australia this month.

Last week, the council voted unanimously to approve a $400 donation to Fenwick Island lifeguard Emily Ruppert, who will be among the 12 competitors to represent the United States at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide, Australia, later this month.

Beach Patrol Captain Tim Ferry requested $200 be taken from each the Fenwick Island Beach Committee and beach patrol accounts to help cover some of the team’s travel expenses. The team is expected to arrive in Adelaide on Nov. 16 and stay a total of 10 days.

“The U.S. team pays for all the lodging and they give her a stipend toward airfare and for the 10 days she is out there,” he said. “So they do have some money they have to make up on their own.”

Ferry said the team will be creating a fundraiser that will allow individuals and organizations to purchase advertisements to support the competitors. He noted that half of the donation would be used to create an ad for Fenwick Island and support the U.S. team, while the remainder will go directly to Ruppert.

“She is a great representative of the town, and the U.S. team is really excited to have her,” he said. “I think it’s a great honor for her and for the town.”

Ferry said Ruppert, a collegiate surfing champion and graduate of the University of North Florida, has been a lifeguard with the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol for five years. He noted that Ruppert took third place in the women’s beach flag event and ran on the first-place women’s 4×100 run relay team at this year’s National Lifeguard Championships in Virginia Beach, Va., to qualify for the world championships in Australia.

“Based upon that they selected her as one of the 12 people to represent the U.S.,” he said. “There are actually five from the region that got selected, so it’s a great honor.”

Councilwoman Vicki Carmean congratulated Ruppert.

“We are very proud,” she said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.