WEEKEND #1, 2009

(Memorial Day Weekend)

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


Delaware State Police received a report of a burglary in progress around 5 p.m. Saturday at an ocean-front residence on Ocean Drive in North Shores. Troopers responded and minutes later called for assistance from Rehoboth Beach police.

Troopers broadcast a lookout for a maroon Chevrolet Beretta and a blue Chevrolet Trailblazer. Police also started searching for one or more suspects thought to have fled on foot toward the Deauville area of Rehoboth Beach.

Around 5:22 p.m., a Rehoboth Beach police officer captured a female suspect. He radioed for assistance stating that she was resisting arrest. Police were able to subdue her and placed her in the Rehoboth Beach police car (below). Police continued to search for other clues and suspects.

The woman was later taken to Troop 7. Police did not say how many accomplices they are seeking or who reported the incident. In an e-mail from Cpl. Jeffrey Whitmarsh, state police spokesman, he said the officers he needs to speak with regarding this case will return on Tuesday.

The suspects were described as burglars who had been there a while; possibly even squatters.

Residents were surprised to see many police cars in the typically crime-free community of high-end beach homes between the Rehoboth Beach city limits and the Cape Henlopen State Park.



Hundreds of visitors in Rehoboth Beach Sunday evening witnessed a dramatic ocean rescue carried out by Rehoboth Beach firefighters/EMTs, police and the state police helicopter, Trooper 2. The 30-minute rescue effort covered about 1.5 miles starting in Dewey and ending successfully in Rehoboth.

The call for help was received around 6:05 p.m. Two persons were reported in the ocean clinging to a raft or inner tube off Dagsworthy Avenue. Rehoboth Beach Asst. Fire Chief Chuck Snyder ("86-17"), who is also active in the open-water rescue team, calmly and smoothly coordinated the rescue.

The helicopter landed at the North Beach lot to set up for a "long-line rescue." Ground crews initially reported to Dagsworthy Avenue. That's where Chief Snyder radioed that he spotted the couple in the water just north of that street around 6:15 p.m. At various points they were reported 300 to 600 yards from shore with an orange or red raft or inner tube.

As the couple rapidly drifted north, crews relocated to Chicago Street at 6:20 p.m., then Chesapeake Street. Around 6:25 p.m. they drifted past Silver Lake and rescuers headed north into Rehoboth Beach staging on Prospect and Saint Lawrence Streets. Others advanced to Stockley Street by 6:35 p.m. and, finally, Brooklyn Avenue.

The helicopter, Trooper 2, hovered just feet above the ocean and gently pulled the victims toward the shore at Delaware Avenue using the rescue rope. The man was the first to be pulled to the beach around 6:35 p.m., followed by the woman minutes later.

She was clinging onto what looked like a red purse as she was assisted from the surf. Several Rehoboth police officers in uniform got wet as they entered the surf to assist. Both walked from the surf, were evaluated in a waiting ambulance, and declined further medical assistance.

LISTEN HERE: This is a link to an audio recording of the rescue radio communications. It is a mix of Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach police and fire radio channels. The action is toward the end once the rescuers are fully deployed. There are also brief references to an unrelated incident, a traffic accident, at about the same time at Old Landing Road and Coastal Highway. This 17-minute WAV audio file is almost 45 MBs (a broadband connection is recommended).

Click here for the state police news release.

Here is video by Mati Kerpen of the female victim brought to the ambulance.


Ocean City police officers were screaming for assistance around 12:05 a.m. Sunday shortly after they arrived on the scene of a fight on Wicomico Street. Police said even the bouncers from local bars came to assist as the fight turned into a big brawl.

Police made between eight and 10 arrests. Several of those arrested were placed in patrol wagons which drove up on the boardwalk. EMS was dispatched for at least one injury, but none sounded serious.

Despite the large crowd, police had the situation under control within about 15 minutes.

The Ocean City Boardwalk Beach Cam captured some of the chaos:


Police departments from Rehoboth Beach through Ocean City worked hard all weekend. Dewey Beach police handled a handful of assaults (none sounded serious). This one was reported around 1 a.m. Sunday on Dagsworthy Avenue. A 19-year-old man had a possible broken nose and a cut to his ankle.

Photo by Jeremy Settle

A couple Dewey police officers were discussing the number of calls the town received around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. As of that time, he said his computer showed almost 40 complaints since 9 p.m. Overnight Sunday into Monday morning was noticeably quieter.

Rehoboth Beach police responded to at least seven loud party or noise complaints from Friday through Monday. Police were called back at least twice to two of the complaints.


It was 10 p.m. in congested traffic on Rehoboth Avenue when a mother Mallard duck and her 10 ducklings wobbled around aimlessly in the intersection at 5th Street.

Concerned motorists stopped their vehicles, jumped into action and kept vehicles from running over the ducklings. They successfully nudged the ducklings to the north side of the roadway only to have six of the 10 flustered ducklings drop into the storm drain.

The rescue team consisted of about 10 people. They hailed a passing seasonal Rehoboth Beach police officer. He was unsuccessful getting the city to send resources to assist in the rescue. The public works crew left at 10 p.m., and the fire department and SPCA were not offered by the dispatcher as options. There is no "animal control" department as such.

Taking the rescue into their own hands, three of the men lifted the storm grates on either side of 5th Street. They saved two ducklings from one drain, and four others from the other drain.

The ducklings were reunited with their panicked mother who fled with her ducklings down the sidewalk and cornered herself against a fence along side the Amandeline Gallery at 403 Rehoboth Avenue. There the rescue party left her to rest with the ducklings nestled beneath her around 11 p.m.


Police officers were told to be on the lookout for any City Cab or Comfort Ride Taxi picking up passengers in the city. The dispatcher said the city's business office says neither had a current license to operate in the city. George's Cab and Town Cab were later added to the list.

Allegedly a Comfort Ride Taxi picked up passengers in front of the Rehoboth Beach City Hall around 10 a.m. Saturday. Police caught up with the cab with three occupants just outside the city limits at the Just in Thyme Restaurant on Robinson Drive.

Police discussed issuing him a criminal summons. However, there was also consideration that the cab companies would be permitted to continue operating if they reported to the city offices and paid their business licenses by noon. The summons would then possibly be voided.

We attempted several calls to Comfort Ride Taxi for comment on Sunday, but received no answer.


Rehoboth Beach police took a report Monday around 1 p.m. for this graffiti discovered on the front of the old Stuart Kingston shop in the fifth block of Rehoboth Avenue.


Yard sales were held at these two households in the third block of New Castle Street on Saturday. Around 8:35 a.m. the Rehoboth Beach police dispatcher sent an officer to warn them about the city's sign policy.

"Apparently they went around town and stapled garage-sale signs to trees and to telephone poles," the dispatcher told the officer over the radio. "The signs have been removed." she added. "Per the city manager, swing by and tell them it is not allowed and should not happen again."


One of the yard sale sponsors said she had been having such yard sales for the past 15 years on Memorial Day Weekend, and this was the first complaint she had about a sign.

But they found a brilliant work-around. They ended up posting a sign on this silver Jeep which they parked on Bayard Avenue.



The beach replenishment, and associated inconvenience, caught many Dewey Beach visitors by surprise this holiday weekend. The crews work around the clock, even during the holiday weekend. Several sections of the beach were closed while crews spread the sand. The back-up beepers on the bulldozers can be heard for blocks.

This is the Dredge B.E. Lindholm. Its crew spent the weekend hauling sand from the Fenwick Shoal which is a couple miles off the Fenwick Island State Park. That's more than a 30-mile round trip to Dewey and back!

The project is supposed to run through June 25. Town officials are referring inquires to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Watch for the dredge's current location on ShipPlotter.

Here's an article about the dredge from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The B.E. Lindholm was also the subject of litigation after it was involved in a collision with a chemical tanker in the Houston Ship Channel in 2002.


Photos by Jeremy Settle



Rehoboth Beach police were spot-checking drivers on Bayard Avenue on Friday for compliance with the state's seatbelt law.

Under the watchful eye of a full-time officer, seasonal officers took turns standing on the corner at New Castle Street wearing a traffic vest. While encouraging approaching drivers to slow, they'd check occupants for compliance.

It appeared to be more of a training session for the seasonal officers, although they made a few traffic stops, such as the one below.

Late Friday night (or early Saturday morning), the state police conducted similar compliance checkpoints outside Bridgeville and Georgetown.


Aqua Grill received the first loud noise bar complaint this season. Rehoboth Beach police received a complaint around 7:45 p.m. Friday that the establishment was noisy and customers waiting to enter were blocking the sidewalk.

Police said over the radio that they spoke with the manager. Using a sound meter, an officer returned at least one more time later in the evening to check the sound levels, which were reportedly below the maximum allowed by the city's code.


Members of the MERR Institute conducted a necropsy of a dead 55,000-pound 42-foot juvenile male Sei whale which washed ashore in the Delaware Seashore State Park on Wednesday. The cause of death seems to be a fractured skull resulting from a collision with a large vessel.

Dan Shortridge of the News Journal wrote a detailed article concerning the whale.

Photos courtesy MERR Institute.



Commissioner Stan Mills, chairman of the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk committee, sent an e-mail Sunday discussing the status of the boardwalk improvements.

He says the newly reconstructed boardwalk south of Rehoboth Avenue is just shy of being complete. It is missing a few amenities such as the light poles. He says new footshower platforms and two new shower towers, which along with the new style light poles, set the tone for the balance of reconstruction.

Commissioner Mills says some improvements are visible, while others are not. Hidden from view, he noted, is a new stronger design with pilings and beams of concrete rather than wood. The angled boards mark the reinforced section for use by emergency and public works vehicles, something the boardwalk has not had until now.

Phase Two - the entire balance of the Boardwalk reconstruction - is being funded through federal stimulus monies in the amount of $7.5 million, which will allow this project to be completed in one year versus in multiple phases over multiple years. The funds have been committed and the work is ready to begin. He says the entire project is to be completed by Memorial Day of 2010.

Work will resume starting September 8, 2009 between Prospect and Laurel Streets. Commissioner Mills says to feel free and contact him with questions or comments. Click here to subscribe to his e-mail list.


A WCAU-TV crew (that's NBC Channel 10 from Philadelphia) was in town on Friday. WCAU received free premium parking in front of Dolle's and produced this report.

Additionally, reporter Sherri Ly from WTTG-TV (Fox Channel 5 from D.C.) aired this report about Rehoboth Beach Monday evening.


He says he can hold this position typically for about 20 minutes. He remained perfectly balanced and almost motionless for several minutes around 2 p.m. Saturday. Then he stretches and exercises his legs while still on his head.




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