Cutline to come
Wrightsville Beach lifeguard tryouts include a half-mile ocean swim.
THE JOB WITH A VIEW
S temperatures rise and the beach strand becomes more crowded, lifeguards are deployed to help ensure everyone’s safety.
The Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Squad employs 28 seasonal lifeguards from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
However, not just anyone can win a coveted spot as a Wrightsville Beach lifeguard. The job requires stamina,
strength and endurance. In order to prove they have what it takes, candidates must go through a grueling tryout.
“It’s a half-mile open ocean swim that’s followed by a 1-mile run in the sand,” says Jeremy Owens, Ocean Rescue captain.
“Then we do two mock rescues, an active victim rescue and a passive victim rescue.”
The passive rescue is one of the toughest tests of the tryout. Lifeguards must go into the surf to drag out an unresponsive
“victim”—played by other lifeguards and swimmers—while being pounded by breaking waves.
With the active and passive victim rescues posing different types of obstacles, they effectively display the candidates’ overall resolve.
“Comfort in the water is the main thing we’re looking for,” Owens says.
Tryouts are scheduled for April 29 and May 5. Roughly 40 participants are anticipated per tryout, consisting of both returning
lifeguards and rookies. Chosen candidates will either be part-timers or one of the 28 full-time guards.
While the job may require hard work, the view and the people are worth it.
“We have such a good program, and so many people are passionate about it,” Owens says. — Ashley Paige Edwards
WBM FILE PHOTO