100-year-old Rehoboth Beach Patrol to ring in summer season with a new tradition

May 26, 2021

Mayor Stan Mills will officially kick off the summer season at 9:30 am Saturday, May 29, when he becomes the first person to ring the Rehoboth Beach Patrol bell in what is sure to become a new beloved tradition for the 100-year-old organization. The bell-ringing ceremony will take place on the beach in front of Beach Patrol headquarters at Baltimore Avenue and the boardwalk.

The 50 members of the 2021 Rehoboth Beach Patrol team will start the season at 7 am with drills and beach training. The season officially begins with the 9:30 am bell-ringing. The brass bell will be used throughout the season to signify the start of each new day.

Rehoboth Beach Patrol 2021 by the numbers

More than 40 lifeguards and six EMTs will be working the 1.75-mile stretch between Deauville Beach and the Hemlock area near Dewey Beach.

  • 20 stands will be manned throughout the summer season.
  • This year’s lifeguard crew includes 18 women and 22 rookies, who range in age from 16-30.
  • More than 350 people currently are part of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol Alumni Association.
  • This is the 100th year of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol.
  • Capt. Jeff Giles, now in his first year of leading the beach patrol, following a 32-year career with the Delaware State Police, was a Rehoboth Beach Patrol rookie himself in 1981.

During the first half of the season, rookies will participate in 25 rigorous workouts in preparation for the 10 events – including swims, runs, soft-sand sprints, push ups, buoy charges, breath holds, and ocean rescues – that comprise the annual Rookie Test competition, to be held July 11 and 12 this year.

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