The Ocean City Beach Patrol goes on duty Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend


Tasked with keeping our beaches and ocean safe, the Ocean City Beach Patrol is one of the most integral entities in Ocean City, MD. The Beach Patrol is comprised of young men and women who vigorously train under the tutelage of veteran leaders to ensure swimmers and beach goers stay safe at all times. The lifeguards learn about treacherous rip currents, the changing ocean bottom, and how far to let flotation devices go out with different winds and tide conditions. They also have to keep an eye out for swimmers who get too close to the long wooden and, more recently, stone jetties that jut out into the surf to help check beach erosion. It is estimated that in a typical season, the Patrol goes to the rescue of about 2,500 bathers, handles 1,000 lost children, and is called on for first aid about 500 times.

beach patrol FB 1Before any man or women can join the Beach Patrol, he/she must first pass a grueling tryout. To be under initial consideration, applicants must swim a quarter of a mile in the ocean from the jetty at the Inlet to the fishing pier, keeping their strokes through waves and currents, and must be back on shore in ten minutes or less. As soon as swimmers hit the beach, they must then run in the sand back to the starting point. Applicants who survive the initial test (most do not) continue from there with a series of simulated rescues with and without a torpedo buoy, run a 300meter course in soft sand in 65 seconds. Next, there is a test in lifesaving techniques. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to break the grasp of desperate swimmers using several techniques. Patrol members are taught the semaphore flag signals and first aid, and receive CPR training.

Crew 7 3Those that pass join the Beach Patrol and accept the mission of keeping the beaches safe. The OCBP is broken up into 17 individual crews, each of which operates as a team to man the 5 or 6 lifeguard stands on its assigned beach, with the crew chief stand located in the center. An assistant crew chief and up to six additional SRTs (Surf Rescue Technicians) work together under direction of the crew chief to cover all stands 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. All guards follow the same training program, so members of any crew can work together to save lives; but Ocean City’s coastal geography creates unique working environments at each beach and each crew takes great pride in keeping its area safe.

For more information on the men and women who keep our beaches and water safe, visit:


  1. Are there lifeguards from the state line to the inlet in OCMD? We want to be sure there is a lifeguard at the northern end where we’ve never stayed before.

    • The Ocean City Beach Patrol starts guarding the whole 10 miles of the Ocean City beach on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The beaches are guarded seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m from Memorial Day weekend until the third Sunday following Labor Day Monday.

  2. Today my friends and I have been sitting next to a lifeguards chair. The lifeguard has been MIA since she got here. She has been sitting 2 chairs over hanging with another lifeguard. Her station is right in the thick of it where the most people are swimming at the surf beach sign. This is a huge struggle for me as a mother and just as a human. There have been several families here today with special needs. It is sad and frustrating to see her lack of respect for her job. A different life guard just came and is sitting to our other side and she has already blown her whistle for safety. I commend her for being on top of her job. It seems as though her fellow work mates just don’t seem to care.

  3. I initiated a rescue last month (July 6) and I was joined by one of your lifeguards. I do not know his name, but he performed flawlessly. It happened around 11 AM between 135 and 136. I believe that he was actually subbing for Caroline at 136.

    I have a little write-up that I would like to email if possible. Should I send that to Mr. Jamieson or is there a better recipient. Could you send me the best person and email address to receive my PDF file.

    Thanks for your assistance,


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