The Ocean City Beach Patrol rookie hires begin their lifeguard training school today. The rookie’s have already been given their uniforms, hats and whistles. They are ready and eager to learn all they can from the training officer and the veteran lifeguards.
There’s a lot to learn. Ocean City Beach Patrol has a proud history, dating all the way back to it’s inception in 1898. In the 118 seasons since, no one has drowned on a protected beach. The beach patrol credits their stellar reputation on their well-trained lifeguards.
Two of the new recruits have an extra wealth of knowledge to count on during their training, their grandfathers. Rookie lifeguards, Luke Bowman and AJ Oves, placing first and second respectively in the try-outs, are cousins. Their grandfathers, Charlie Bowman Sr. and Thomas Oves Sr. are both former OCBP lifeguards and champion rowers who married twin sisters, Beth and Anne.
The Ocean City Beach Patrol is a big tradition in their families. Tom Oves Sr’s father, Reuben Oves joined the lifeguards way back in 1910. Both Tom Sr. and Charlie Bowman Sr. joined in the early 1950’s. Charlie Bowman Sr.’s son Bill Bowman joined in 1983. Tom Sr.’s son Chris Oves joined in 1984. Cousin Joe Sheffer joined in 1982. Tom Sr.’s eldest grandsons, Dustin and John Oves joined in 2016.
AJ and Luke, both sixteen-year-old OCHS students, are looking forward to starting training today. AJ says, “I was so happy to get the job. Being a part of the family legacy is a big honor. Luke agrees, “I’m excited to uphold the family tradition and I look forward to working on the beaches this summer.”