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Way Downstream …(May 2-8, 2019)

Ocean City presses search for lifeguards

       If you’re not a super swimmer, don’t bother. But Ocean City is ready to train you and pay you if you’re fish-like and fit, not tied down this summer and up for a responsible job.

         On April 22, the Ocean City Beach Patrol used Twitter to advertise lifeguard openings along with a photo of empty lifeguard chairs.

         “Do you know someone that can fill one of these stands?” the tweet asked. “No previous certification or experience is required. All training and certifications are provided.”

         The final tests for applicants are on June 1.

         Ocean City lifeguarding may seem like a dream job, but training is rigorous, the pay is less than at nearby public beaches and housing costs can be eye-popping. (Lifeguards get housing cash up front, to be deducted from paychecks.)

         Starting Memorial Day weekend, Ocean City Beach Patrol goes to work guarding 10 miles of oceanfront, daily from 10am to 5:30pm, through Sunfest weekend late in September.

         As Talking Heads once sang: “This ain’t no party; this ain’t no disco; this ain’t no foolin’ around.” In the final guarding weekend last year, with riptides running strong, Beach Patrol reported that lifeguards made more than 100 water rescues.

         There’s great responsibility indeed — and a record to maintain: Even with hundreds of thousands of ocean-goers in Ocean City in 2018, not a single drowning was reported during the season.