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340 South Ocean Blvd. (A1A), (561) 243-7352Lifeguards

Hours of Operation
Delray Municipal Beach and Atlantic Dunes Park are lifeguard supervised from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, 365 days per year.

From March 11th, 2017 - September 29, 2017, hours will be 9:00 AM - 6:15 PM

Beach Conditions
(561) 27-BEACH

Staff

Ocean Rescue Division Chief

Phil Wotton

Administrative Assistant

Dianne Gaffney

Operations Lieutenants/EMT

Robert Black, Eric Feld, Heather Posta, Bryce Clough



The Ocean Rescue Division is directed by the Fire Rescue Department in supervising public safety at the Municipal Beach and Atlantic Dunes Park.

The lifeguard staff is continuously training to maintain and develop their ocean rescue and basic life support skills. This is part of an ongoing certification process to insure their proficiency. Ocean Rescue Lifeguards are licensed Emergency Medical Technicians. The entire staff has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and service receiving numerous awards for their professional achievement from the USLA, the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association, and the Emergency Medicine Foundation.

The division hosts an Annual Ocean Mile Swim, Ocean Safety Awareness Classes, and Junior Lifeguard Program. The Division has hosted the Southeast Region Junior Lifeguard and Professional Lifeguard Championships in 1988, 1991, 1999, and 2002. Delray Beach Ocean Rescue initiated the Annual Ocean Lifesaving Awards Dinner Banquet and has hosted this event several times. For more information please visit our Programs and Activities page.


Accomplishments
The Division has been certified by the United States Lifesaving Association as an Advanced Open Water Lifesaving Agency  since 1995. The Division is one of  37 across the United States meeting the  Advanced Open Water Lifesaving certification requirements.

The Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association awarded the Division "Beach Patrol of the Year" in 1995, 1999, 2001 and for 2008. Steve Zickl, Operations Supervisor, was awarded "Lifeguard of the Year" throughout the State of Florida in 1999.

Delray Beach first introduced an EMS competition event at the1995 Delray Beach Annual Ocean Lifeguard Competition. Following this event,  former Lifeguard Lt. Ken Thompson, now a Delray Beach Firefighter, initiated the annual Ocean Lifeguard BLS (Basic Life Support ) Competition Series with the support of the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association and the City of Delray Beach, to prepare South Florida's lifeguards for Clin-con Competition. Delray's leadership has motivated Ocean Lifesaving agencies from around the state to host similar Ocean Lifesaving /Basic Life Support competitions. This has increased the level of Emergency Medical Service Ocean Lifeguards are providing at Florida's beaches.

In 1996 the Division sent a Team under the direction of Lt. Eric Feld to compete at theFlorida Emergency Medical Foundation's Clin Con Basic Life Support Competition. The Delray Team was the first Ocean Lifesaving Agency to participate, placing 4th. Team Captain Eric Feld also led his team to place 1st in both 1999 and 2000.  This event is a challenging educational opportunity for Ocean Lifeguards to test their skills against Professional Firefighters and Private Ambulance EMTs on an international level. 

The Division also greatly contributed to the Parks and Recreation Department being awarded the 2002 Excellence in Aquatics Award  from the National Recreation and Parks Association for its programs and achievements.

In 2004, Supervisor Nina Mattos initiated the Ocean Rescue's Rapid Response Dive Rescue Team. Qualified Ocean Rescue Lifeguards use rapid response dive gear to respond to underwater emergencies on the beach. The Dive Team is the first of it's kind in South Florida Ocean Lifesaving.

The Ocean Rescue Division replaced it's Rigid Hulled Inflatable Rescue Craft with aRescue Water Craft (Jet Ski) for rapid response to ocean related emergencies such as distressed swimmers, boaters, divers, and kite boarders. After the first day of training with the craft, the Division rescued seven teenage kayakers who had drifted over a mile offshore due to strong offshore winds.

Ocean Rescue Officer Mark Henkle won the National Championship in the Men's Open Row at the 2004 United States Lifesaving Associations National Championship in Daytona Beach Florida.

The Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association awarded the Lifeguard of the Yearthroughout the State of Florida in 2004 to Jo Wagenhals, Ocean Rescue Officer/EMT.

In July 2004 and 2005, the public voted in the Kids Crown Awards from South Florida Parenting Magazine and awarded Delray Municipal Beach as the Best Beach in Palm Beach County.


 

mobichair1Surf ChairsHandicapSymbol
Four Surf Chairs are available for the physically challenged to enjoy the beach.  The chairs allow for mobility on the sand and are available from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm at the following lifeguard towers: South 1, South 3, South 5 and Atlantic Dunes Park.

The use of the surf chair is free of charge but there is a two (2) hour time limitation.  Use of the chair is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and be accompanied by a companion who is able to assist the user.

Please Note: To ensure safety, Ocean Rescue Staff are not allowed to assist in the transfer of users from wheelchairs or walkers to the surf chair, nor are they allowed to push the user in the surf chair.  Therefore, a companion must accompany the user or else the use of the surf chair will be denied.

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