(Editor’s Note: The following is a series on the men and women who have spent their summers protecting all those who came to Ocean City for fun and safe vacation.)
OCEAN CITY – Time spent in the water was a big part of growing up for Tim Warren. Not only had he been on swim teams every year since he was five, his family would take him to Ocean City each summer for a two-week stay on 27th Street. He grew up in the water, looking up to the guards who watched over him.
When he graduated high school from Mt. St. Joe’s in 1976, the choice of what to do next was an easy one. He was heading to Ocean City to join his older brother, Mark, who was already on the beach patrol. With a swimming background, Warren passed the test and was soon up in the stand.
Once there, he began really learning about the ocean. His crew chief taught him “how to surf and bodysurf” and more importantly “how to read the waves and how to use the ocean to my advantage. He also taught me situational awareness, to always know my surroundings in the water.”
Things that helped make Warren not only a good guard, but increased his love of the ocean. The next two summers, Warren headed down to 31st Street, where “the coastline turned in a couple of degrees. Those two summers the sandbar was really good for surfing.”
It wasn’t all about surfing, of course. His stand was on one of the mid-town rock jetties and Tim actually had to save a man on a bulldozer. The city had been “countering the erosion along the jetties by bulldozing the sand back up onto the beach from the water.” One day, an operator “got caught in a hole off the end of the jetty. He was drowning.” He went in and pulled him out.
Someone else had to get the bulldozer.
In 1978, Warren moved to Southern California to try surfing Pacific waves. Three years later, he moved to Hawaii where he has stayed to surf and kite board.