By Sean Streicher

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — As of 10 a.m. Saturday, the Ocean City Beach Patrol is officially on duty for the summer. The men and women will patrol the beach from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day throughout the summer.

“We always say, if we wouldn’t trust you to guard our family members, then we wouldn’t trust you to guard the families that come to the beach to vacation,” said Lt. Mike Stone, a 37-year veteran of the beach patrol.

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While their season may have just kicked off, planning for this year started before last year wrapped up with the purchasing of equipment, lifeguard testing and planning.

A lot goes into keeping beachgoers safe.

Lt. Stone says they take a three-prong approach to safety. Education, prevention and intervention.

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“Talk to the lifeguard and they’ll let people know about different hazards that may be in the area,” said Lt. Stone.

It’s information that could keep you safe while in the water, of course, if a situation does arise the guards are ready to go.

“We like to say if someone’s in trouble we’ll go get them before they’re in serious trouble,” said Lt. Stone.

Some things you can do to help prevent serious trouble from happening is to only go in the water while they’re on duty, swim in front of the lifeguard and listen to their instructions.

“We want them to enjoy their stay, leave safely and then come back another time,” said Lt. Stone.

Sean Streicher