Finding Ocean City lifeguard talent: Program teaches young candidates rescue skills
The town of Ocean City held its annual Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 2.
Safe Harbor founder Kathy Slaughter talks about the future plans for the sanctuary in Berlin, Md.
Ocean City deputy fire marshal Ryan Whittington goes step-by-step on how to safely deep-fry your dinner on Thanksgiving. Ocean City Fire Department video
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, along with members of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Ocean City and state government, gathered along the Ocean City coast Monday to comment on the project's process. Produced by Megan Raymond
A Maryland fisherman made a rare catch in the waters of Ocean City — an opah. NOTE: This video has no sound. Submitted video
Delegate Mary Beth Carozza, a Republican who was elected to represent District 38C four years ago, announced Sunday she will challenge incumbent Sen. Jim Mathias, a Democrat, in the 2018 election. Produced by Megan Raymond
The Maryland State Highway Association begins destruction of the existing median to make room for improvements. Following that destruction, installation of overhead LED lighting, new landscaping and fencing will begin. Wochit
After the first attempt was scrubbed, spectators had an opportunity to see a successful launch. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
The National Park Service is investigating recent photographs depicting two dogs running toward a wild pony on Assateague Island in Maryland. Wochit
Ann Foultz wrote a memoir about her experience as a Girl Scout. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
This after-school program teaches kids surfing and respect for on another. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Kristin Heiser announced her intention to run for Worcester County State's Attorney on Monday in Ocean City. Produced by Matt Moore
Mike Hindi, who grew up in Ocean Pines, thought he understood the sort of wrath and destruction that can come with a hurricane. He wasn’t prepared for the level of devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Produced by Megan Raymond
Hundreds of classic cars and trucks descended on Ocean City on the weekend of Oct. 6, 2017. Todd Dudek video
With 2,500 people registered to participate in Endless Summer Cruisin', Ocean City officials and law enforcement are anticipating another busy weekend. Wochit video by Keith Demko
H2O International, a two-day VW/Audi rally, filled Ocean City with import cars and caused headaches for residents and law enforcement alike.
Delmarva Eastern Surfing Association held the Maryland State Surfing Championships on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 on the beach at 36th street in Ocean City, Md. Produced by Megan Raymond
Local beaches will experience rough surf and rip currents as Tropical Storm Maria heads north off the coast. Wochit video by Keith Demko
A new sight will be welcoming visitors to Ocean City after they cross the Route 90 bridge into town — a Denny's restaurant. Wochit
In downtown Ocean City, Hurricane Jose was in full force despite being a few hundred miles off shore Tuesday morning. Megan Raymond video
Views from Bike Week 2017 in Ocean City, Md. Produced by Megan Raymond
At the request of the Ocean City Police Department, Maryland State Police criminal investigators are conducting an investigation into the death early this morning of a suspect who had been arrested and examined at a hospital, but, for reasons unknown at this time, had what appears to be a medical emergency and died after being transported back to the hospital, police say. Wochit
Mounted Ocean City police officers are striving to touch base with the public they serve in a new way: trading cards. Produced by Megan Raymond
Peninsula Regional Health System cuts the ribbon on its new Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute in Ocean Pines. Produced by Megan Raymond
Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro addresses the media during a press conference regarding the death of Ashley O'Connor, Plano, Texas. after her body was found on the beach in the early morning hours of Monday, July, 31, 2017. Produced by Megan Raymond
The Kite Loft's General Manager Chris Maxa talks about their hopes for labor day weekend. Produced by Megan Raymond
The Poor Girls Open is a ladies only billfish release tournament benefiting breast cancer research. Produced by Megan Raymond
The developer-funded analysis seeks to allay concerns that views of the wind turbines will sour tourists on visiting Ocean City. Video by Jeremy Cox
Abigail Plylar, an upcoming sophomore on the Worcester Prep tennis team began the Love for Lungs tennis tournament to raise funds and awareness for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Video by Richard Pollitt
Joe KroArt, Ocean Gallery, was honored by Maryland's Comptroller Peter Franchot Produced by Megan Raymond
The building may be torn down by the end of the year after a court ruled in favor of the town. Wochit
After a busy day at Harbour Island Marina the winning marlin was brought in by the crew of the Wire Nut. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Staff reporter Reed Shelton and the Ocean City Beach Patrol demonstrate what it is like to be buried and extracted from a shallow hole. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Ocean City police are looking for information about a body that was found on the beach near Second Street on Monday, July 31, 2017. Megan Raymond video
Employees at South Pole Ice Cream Roll in Ocean City demonstrate how rolled ice cream is made. Produced by Meg Ryan
The beach season has been calm so far for lifeguards, but they know the worst is yet to come. Wochit
OC BBQ, which replaced OC Steamers, opened in May and provided a southern barbecue restaurant at the changing 45th Street Village. Wochit
A 16-year-old boy was airlifted to Peninsula Regional Medical Center after he and a friend crashed a jet ski Friday, officials said. Produced by Ryan Marshall
For the 38th year BJ's on the Water hosts the canoe races. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Barn 34 in Ocean City puts the family in family restaurants. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
State police continue to investigate the deadly shooting Sunday, Ocean Pines reacts to the new pool rules and Salisbury tables the decision on chain-linked fences. Produced by Ryan Marshall
Ocean Pines Board rules it's OK to have children at Yacht Club pool. Produced by Megan Raymond
Two boats have recently seen whale sharks way off the coast of Ocean City. Produced by Ryan Marshall
Highlights from the 2017 Berlin Bathtub Races. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
White Marlin Open officials have decided how they will distribute the millions in prize money from the 2016 tournament following the official disqualification of its original winner. Video by Keith Demko
Delmarvanow.com asks beach visitors about their favorite activities on the Fourth of July. Produced by Megan Raymond
The 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City ended with a new winner being crowned!
Addressing state and local officials in Ocean City Tuesday evening, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced he had repealed a policy on waste management and created an office to spread high-speed internet access throughout the state, including rural areas of the Eastern Shore. Video by Keith Demko
The restaurant offers seafood, speciality pizzas and more to customers. Produced by Meg Ryan
Two unidentified men leapt into the bay Wednesday from the Route 90 bridge, sparking an hour-long search by numerous agencies, officials said Thursday. Wochit
Alan Goldsborough of Crisfield and daughter, Heather, have opened Shipwrecked Seafood at Route 50 and Main Street in Berlin. Live, steamed and softshells to go! Deborah Gates
2017 Maryland State Fireman Association Parade in Ocean City, Md.
Detective Cpl. Brett Case helped create the Ocean City Bike Patrol and headed up some of the resort's highest profile criminal investigations. He has now retired from the active ranks. Produced by Megan Raymond
Footage and Photos of the second day of the Ocean City Air Show 2017
Ocean City officials are giving advanced warning of an “unsanctioned event,” with a history of offenses. Wochit
Ocean City council passes emergency ordinance banning nudity on beach Produced by Megan Raymond
The Ocean City Beach Patrol has been issued official, if perhaps temporary, procedures for handling topless females on the town's beaches. Video by Keith Demko
A trio of unrelated incidents in Ocean City early Friday morning kicked the web and social media rumor mill into overdrive, causing headaches for city officials. Wochit
Ocean City officer, Delaware man find Pa. woman's lost wedding band in the sand. Produced by Megan Raymond
... especially for travelers from points north looking to get to the Outer Banks as quickly as possible this summer. Video by Jeremy Cox
Rare & Rye Owner Sal Fasano describes the newest hotel restaurant in OC Produced by Megan Raymond
Members of the The Worcester County Commissioners, Library Board of Trustees and members of the community break ground on the new Berlin Branch Library Produced by Megan Raymond
Burley Oak Brewing Company is aiming for a July opening for a new, coffee-inspired cafe in downtown Berlin. Wochit
Peter and Linda Roskovich's family beach home will be featured on HGTV's "Beachfront Bargin Hunt: Renovation" Produced by Megan Raymond
Take a virtual walk along the Ocean City Boardwalk while checking out some of the sounds and sights. Produced by Gray Hughes
Groundbreaking Ceremony for AGH John H. "Jack" Burbage, Jr. Regional Cancer Care Center Produced by Megan Raymond
The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded two offshore wind renewable energy credits Thursday to two projects to be built near the coast of Ocean City, officials said. Video by Keith Demko
On the cusp of expansion into Salisbury, the Ocean City Brewing Company finds one of its co-founders facing prison time in a federal fraud case. Ben Penserga video
The pine cone collecting of Joey and Judy Sweren's dog Buddy took the internet by storm last week. Produced by Megan Raymond
- Watch: Ocean City holds its Christmas Parade
- WATCH: Safe Harbor Cat Sanctuary under construction in Berlin
- Watch: How to safely deep-fry a turkey for Thanksgiving
- WATCH: $12.7 million beach replenishment is underway in Ocean City
- Watch: Tropic fish found in OC rare catch
- WATCH: Mary Beth Carozza to challenge Mathias for Md. Senate seat
- WATCH: New median fence going up in OC
- WATCH: Antares rocket launch
- WATCH: Photos of dogs running at Assateague pony prompts investigation
- WATCH: Longtime Girl Scout reflects on her 'unusual' life
- WATCH: Local surfers teach youth about integrity
- Watch: Heiser announces run for Worcester County State's Attorney
- WATCH: Ocean Pines' Mike Hindi survived Maria
- WATCH: OC Endless Summer Cruisin' 2017
- WATCH: After unofficial H2Oi, OC braces for Endless Summer Cruisin'
- WATCH: H2Oi packs Ocean City
- Delmarva Eastern Surf Association Maryland State Championships
- WATCH: Maria could bring high winds and big waves
- WATCH: New Denny's coming to former home of JR's Ribs in Ocean City.
- Watch: Waves, wind pound Ocean City Inlet
- WATCH: Scenes from Bike Week 2017
- Watch: Troopers investigating in-custody death with OC police
- WATCH: OC mounted police handing out trading cards
- WATCH: Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute Opens in Ocean Pines
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- WATCH: Scenes from the final day of the White Marlin Open
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- WATCH: Footage from a body investigation in Ocean City
- WATCH: South Pole Ice Cream Roll brings rolled ice cream to the Eastern Shore
- WATCH: Lifeguards have had calm season
- WATCH: OC BBQ offers Southern eats in a former seafood restaurant
- Watch: 16-year-old airlifted to PRMC after jet ski crash
- WATCH: Scenes from the 38th Annual Canoe Races
- WATCH: Barn 34 in Ocean City a family affair
- Delmarva's trending today: Tuesday, July 11
- WATCH: Ocean Pines Residents upset with pool rule change
- Watch: Giant whale shark seen off coast of Ocean City
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- WATCH: 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City
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- WATCH: 2017 Ocean City Air Show Final day Roundup
- Watch: OC officials preparing for July's 'College Beach Weekend'
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Starting when he was just 17 years old, Justin Whittles has been a lifeguard for the last six years.
His father is a lifeguard and so is his brother.
"My father was definitely the one that got me involved and got me to want to do it," Whittles said. "He put that thought process in my head and supported me the whole way."
Whittles, like many other guardians of the surf, began his process to becoming a lifeguard through the Ocean City Junior Beach Patrol Program.
The program runs four days from the Tuesday after the Fourth of July until mid-August.
In the program, participants — who are young as 10 or old as 17 — learn basic lifeguarding skills, such as how to use rescue buoys, how to treat people for neck and back injuries and how to rescue people from the surf.
Participants have to wait until they are 10 because beach patrol officials want to ensure the program is not used as a "learn to swim program," said Caroline Oakey, coordinator for the Junior Beach Patrol program.
In total, there were roughly 225 participants in the program during the summer of 2017.
The program teaches participants the skills they will need if they are to become lifeguards, Oakey added. Participants use lifesaving devices used by the beach patrol such as buoys, paddle boards and a landline.
"They also learn how to compete and it’s great because they are new to each other and then they’ll cheer each other on," she said. "And I’ve never heard a kid say negative things towards each other during the event."
In participants' first year, they learn how to use the buoy. In their second, the landline. The third year they get to use the paddleboard. And for their fourth year, participants help to run the crews.
Oakey never participated in the program as a child, she said, but she sees the value in it and has loved working in the program.
The program has prepared future lifeguards well, Oakey said, because they learn the same techniques and skills that are taught to the full time beach patrol members at their rookie academy.
Participants always receive up-to-date training on issues covered by the Ocean City Beach Patrol, including how to properly deal with a head and neck injury, spot rip currents and safely remove somebody in distress from the water, Oakey said.
The program is doubly as effective for those who go on to become instructors in the program once they can no longer participate, she added.
"They definitely come into it knowing certain skills, especially since a lot of our surf rescue technicians that were in the junior beach patrol program were junior beach patrol instructors, so they are learning the same skills," she said.
"So when they do become an SRT, they seem a little better prepared because they know how to work it, do it and they have already been teaching it to kids."
For current lifeguard Joshua Wilder, the program was a major part of him becoming a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol, he said.
"Going through the camp actually taught me the surf rescue skills, navigating the surf, identifying rip currents and all around oceanography," he said.
Wilder, who is also a crew chief in the beach patrol, is one of five chiefs on staff for the summer of 2017 to have gone through the program.
There are also two assistant crew chiefs who have gone through the program.
Wilder was 10 years old when he started the program, and he was in it for five years.
"For me, a lot of it was getting to know the lifeguards who are a part of the camp and knowing who was going to be out there when I became a guard," he said. "That was a lot of fun, seeing the same faces every year."
After being an instructor for the Junior Beach Patrol program for two years, Wilder said he went on to become a member of the beach patrol, and has been in the beach patrol now for eight years.
Whittles, too, did the program for five years, although he did not go on to be an instructor for the program.
The program worked for him because, as a participant, he was able to make his way up.
"It’s cool because each year is a little different," he said. "Every year, you move up a level so you get to do something different so it’s not always the same camp.
"Some camps you go to in life and it’s the same thing every year but each year with junior beach patrol it changes, so it’s cool. Each level you do something different."
On Twitter @hughesg19