The 26th Annual Captain Craig Swim will take place on Saturday, July 11th at 6:30 p.m.
The event is run by the Ocean City Beach Patrol and honors the legacy of Captain Robert Craig, who served the town for over 50 years.
Captain Craig’s Legacy
Captain Robert Craig served as Captain of the Ocean City Beach Patrol from 1935 to 1986. Lieutenant Mike Stone, who has been a member of the Beach Patrol for over 35 years, knows the significance of Captain Craig’s lengthy career. “A lot of what the Beach Patrol does today is thanks to Captain Craig.,” said Lieutenant Stone.
During his tenure, Captain Craig made integral changes to the training and recruitment process. He implemented a requirement for written applications and physical tests for those interested in joining the Beach Patrol. According to a press release, “If they successfully completed the test, Captain Craig continued their education, by assigning an experienced guard for further instruction in spotting rip currents, knowledge of waves and what to look for so that preventive measures could be taken before difficulties occurred.”
Captain Craig’s impact does not stop at the hiring process and education. He introduced Semaphore, a system of visual signals often with flags, to the Ocean City Beach Patrol. Decades later, with over 10 miles to cover and 18 crews, these visual aids are still used by members of the patrol to keep visitors safe.
Registration and COVID-19
Even though the swim is Saturday, you still have time to register. To register online, click here. Lieutenant Stone says that so far, more people have registered online this year than last year. Organizers do not anticipate many walk-ups. On-site registration begins at 5 p.m. and all participants will receive a t-shirt. Registration costs $30.
Be sure to have your mask or face covering ON during registration/check-in and be prepared for a wellness check. All participants will have their temperature taken and will be asked a set of questions.
Transportation and Competition
In a normal year, the Ocean City Beach Patrol provides transportation from registration to the actual competition site. However, transportation will be limited to ensure social distancing. “We usually use the tram and have everyone pile in after registration. The tram is not available this year, so transportation will be limited.,” said Lieutenant Stone.
The swim takes place on 14th Street and the Boardwalk. Participants will swim one mile to the finish line and the top three finishers will be awarded certificates and medals. Additionally, surf rescue technicians will be present in the water, on the beach, and in rescue boats. Competitors will swim with the prevailing current, which normally runs south to north. Members of the Beach Patrol will make a decision regarding the direction of the current Saturday morning.
Tropical Storm Fay
As Tropical Storm Fay pushes up the East Coast of the United States, the Beach Patrol is monitoring the latest conditions. Currently, Lieutenant Stone says that the Captain Craig Swim is still planned for tomorrow, but that it may be rescheduled for Sunday, July 12th if necessary.
More Information and Contact
For more information, click here or call (410) 289 – 7556.
For more information on how the Ocean City Beach Patrol is combatting COVID-19 click here.