Top: George Clark Jr. pauses for a moment before touring the beach strand in a Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue truck. Above, left to
right: Dave Baker (dark jacket), WBOR director, presents George with a whistle and a rescue buoy signed by current Wrightsville Beach
lifeguards. George talks with lifeguards after the presentation.
BAKER first picked George up at his house carrying
lifeguard swag: hat and T-shirt, which he immediately
donned before climbing into Baker’s truck for a ride up the
“George deserves this because he paved the way and set the ground-work
for what Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue is today,” Baker says.
“It was because of him and the others, with the little they had, they
were still saving lives and making a difference.”
In the old fire station’s back bay, among the young, athletic pres-ent-
day lifeguards, most 70 years his junior, George was all smiles.
Baker presented George with an orange whistle and a rescue buoy
signed by all the lifeguards.
Son George III has hung the buoy over the fireplace in George’s
“I was really impressed with the guard corps. They are very profes-sional
18 september 2022
nowadays,” George says.
A photo from 1946 shows him sitting in a lifeguard stand shortly
after he graduated from New Hanover High School.
“Lifeguarding wasn’t as glamorous as it is thought to be,” he says.
“It is probably the most boring job in the world. Because you are not
PHOTOS BY ALLISON POTTER