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WEEKEND #12, 2010

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware



As Thursday's storms past the shore they dumped more than two inches of rain on Rehoboth Beach. Some flood-prone areas were overwhelmed, especially around 8 and 9 p.m. See street flood photos on WGMD's Website.

Perhaps those storms contributed to the weekend's rough surf, which kept visitors in awe of the ocean waves and lifeguards on their toes.

Around noon on Friday, Rehoboth Beach Patrol officials encouraged guards to stay near the beach during their lunch breaks, offering them free pizza coupons. Some sections kept visitors at knee-depth only during much of the day.




It was a frightening few minutes after a report came in around 1:45 p.m. Friday at 58th Street in Ocean City. "The call was for a possible swimmer missing in the water," says O.C. Beach Patrol Capt. Butch Arbin.

"I left my office to go to the site," Capt. Arbin says. The Coast Guard and EMS crews were alerted in case a victim was confirmed missing.

"When I arrived I quickly talked to two separate witnesses that were identified as knowing about the incident." Capt. Arbin said. "In both cases they said that they did not see anyone in the water. We also located a male on the beach, who had been in the water in the area where a person was last seen."

Capt. Arbin stood on the stand with his guard, called the crowd together to explain what had happened and asked them to account for everyone who they knew to be on the beach with them. "No one was reported missing," he said.

Lifeguards had already been in the water searching. But they later confirmed by eyewitnesses that the person the one guard last saw in the water safely returned to shore.

The weekend was just beginning for the beach patrols. Ocean City guards assisted numerous swimmers, even while off duty.

Around 8:25 p.m. Saturday, Ocean City's communications center received a report of persons in the inlet in distress. "It was very hard to see them," says Capt. Arbin. "I was first on the scene and asked people on the beach if they saw anyone in trouble and they said no. I looked out into the ocean and could not see anyone. I ran out to the end of the inlet jetty and then I could see them and hear them calling for help. That is when I called the Coast Guard. I yelled to let them know someone was on the way. I kept an eye on them so we could locate them in the dark."

Beach patrol personnel went in off the beach and swam in the direction. Capt. Arbin says he "yelled direction to the guards so they could locate them. It is hard to see in rough surf and at night." They also directed Coast Guard and DNR rescue boats to the group.

He said the victims were two kids who were stranded on a boogie board and the parents spoke little English and "had no idea the kids were even in trouble." The Coast Guard took the kids to the station and the guards swam back to shore.

It "just so happened that we [the OCBP] had our first test for next summer," Capt. Arbin added. "We were just getting ready to leave when we got the call. They are so lucky to be alive."

Fifty candidates registered and the beach patrol accepted 25 of them. Capt. Arbin added that he does final interviews with each candidate.

Lifeguards and even a few bystanders made rescues this weekend. Miraculously, no drownings or critical injuries were reported. Some of the more notable water rescues included:

At quitting time on Friday, Rehoboth Beach Patrol Capt. Kent Buckson commended his guards over the radio. "Great job today everybody, great job," he said. "People went home today that probably would not have gone home if you hadn't gone out and rescued them. So I'm extremely proud of everybody, excellent effort."

Photos by Joe Bradley



Perhaps it was a smaller-than-usual beach during high tide that made it feel more congested as visitors squeezed onto the beach. They were blanket-to-blanket and elbow-to-elbow in the area of Rehoboth Avenue on Saturday.





With the crowds come lost children. It was especially challenging since lifeguards had the primary responsibility of watching the surf while also handling medical problems and lost/found children.

On Saturday, the Rehoboth Beach Patrol handled seven missing or found children reports. The kids were between 2 and 12 years old.

Among the most notable was this 11-year-old girl who was reported missing around 3:10 p.m. to the lifeguard on Rehoboth Avenue. She had a lot of explaining to do when she was finally found, in Dewey Beach!

After hearing the missing girl report, the guard on the Norfolk Street stand said "We think we might have seen her earlier, but she didn't look lost. But she was walking south so you might want to notify Dewey."

They called Dewey Beach Patrol. And, interestingly, a guard there remembered possibly seeing her walking south as well.

Guards finally caught up with the girl on the south end of Dewey Beach around 3:25 p.m. She was taken to the Dewey Beach Patrol headquarters where a Rehoboth Beach police officer drove her back to the Rehoboth Beach bandstand to meet with her auntie, who is her guardian. They come from Philadelphia.

On Sunday, an 11-year-old boy was reported missing at the Olive Avenue lifeguard stand around 3:40 p.m. He was found about 50 minutes later near the twin towers in the Cape Henlopen State Park.



This is one vehicle you don't want to see when you return to your car in Rehoboth Beach!

This past week Rehoboth Beach parking enforcers made more than $2000 for the city from those who failed to pay their overdue parking fines and finally got caught.

The parking enforcers have "hot sheets" listing license plates of those who have accumulated enough in unpaid fines to warrant towing. They often check the back streets, where these people hope to hide at non-metered parking spaces.

Ironically, in each of the four cases this past week, the owner of the wanted vehicle returned and paid before the city had a chance to have them towed.

Two were captured around noon on Monday. A heavy-duty Ford F250 pickup truck found parked in front of Grotto's owed the city $430. About 50 minutes later, a white Land Rover was found near the Breaker's Hotel. It owed the city $575 plus $30 more for yet another ticket issued on the spot for an expired meter!

On Friday, this black Nissan Altima was located in a parking permit area on Sussex Street. It had a valid parking permit, but the city's records said it owed the city $640 -- one of the highest, if not the highest, captured so far this season.

Two hours later, a fourth wanted vehicle was located in the second block of Wilmington Avenue. It owed the city $345.



The street lamps in the center and on either side of Rehoboth Avenue in the first two blocks were dark Friday evening, with the exception of those that bordered 2nd Street. They reportedly came back on around 10 p.m. and were working Saturday night.



Transpine, a Swedish-flagged cargo ship, sailed past Rehoboth Beach Friday around 7 p.m. Its Automatic Identification System (AIS) indicated the 158-meter vessel was headed for Newport News, Virginia.



Sea foam, where does it come from? Snopes has these details regarding a massive sea foam event that Snopes says really happened in Australia in 2007.






MAN ASSAULTED/ ROBBED AT CANAL CORKRAN OUTSIDE REHOBOTH--- Just as Rehoboth residents and visitors are hoping the serial robbery spree has come to an end, now comes word that a 50-year-old man was assaulted and robbed around 1:30 a.m. Sunday near the entrance to Canal Corkran just outside Rehoboth.

He suffered cuts to his lower lip and left elbow and complained of sore ribs on his left side. He was taken to Beebe Hospital. One source says he had been drinking. The suspects allegedly took the man's wallet during the assault. The state police issued this news release Sunday evening.


INTRUDER RUNS FROM REHOBOTH HOUSE--- A man in his 30's to early 50's reportedly broke into a house in the ocean block of Delaware Avenue around 4:10 p.m. Saturday. He is described as a short white man, with a crew cut, gray hair, wearing a tank top and blue jeans.

One source says the occupant had been sitting on her front porch when her phone rang. She answered her phone, but no one was there. That is when she heard someone in her downstairs bedroom where she sleeps. When she entered the bedroom she found a man hiding under her bed.

Once the man saw her, he supposedly yelled "call the cops, someone is chasing me" and at that point she told the man to get out of her house. He was last seen running toward the boardwalk between Delaware and Wilmington avenues between houses.


REHOBOTH REINOS DISPLAY "FREE PARKING" MESSAGE--- At least eight of Rehoboth Avenue's Reino multi-space parking meters displayed the "FREE PARKING" message on Friday. This has been a common problem this season. Most of the messages were reported between 10 and 11 a.m., but at least one more was reported around 1:25 p.m. The problem was quickly addressed by the parking meter techs. Vehicles parked at spaces controlled by those meters were given credit to the maximum time permitted for those spaces.


DRUNK EXPOSES HIMSELF ON BEACH, GETS ARRESTED--- Rehoboth Beach lifeguards called for police assistance around 5:10 p.m. Saturday after an intoxicated man exposed himself on the beach near Wilmington Avenue. As one guard said over the radio, the man "apparently had his 'man parts' out for all to see and he was playing around with a bunch of little kids and stuff." Lifeguards escorted him to the boardwalk where police placed him under arrest.


PEDESTRIANS STRUCK--- Officials in the Rehoboth area had to deal with two almost-simultaneous reports of pedestrians struck early Sunday. Fortunately neither was serious. The first report came in around 12:19 a.m. that a man was struck behind the Exxon on Coastal Highway at John J. Williams Highway. According to one report, the 21-year-old man had gotten struck by a car and left to smoke a cigarette. He later returned complaining of injury. He had reportedly admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana.

Five minutes after that incident, a 31-year-old woman was reported struck near the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach. Her injuries were not serious.


BICYCLIST FLOWN TO TRAUMA CENTER AFTER FALL--- A woman reportedly struck her head after she lost control of her bicycle and crashed. It happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday on Beach Plum Lane in Middlesex Beach, south of Bethany. She could not recall the accident or riding the bike and was reportedly unconscious for about five minutes. The state police helicopter flew her to Peninsula Regional Medical Center. She reportedly had been drinking.


MAN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN O.C. SCOOTER CRASH--- A 45-year-old man riding a scooter was seriously injured in an accident involving another vehicle around 4:20 p.m. It happened in the 14100 block of Laurel Avenue in north Ocean City on Saturday. He may have suffered a compound arm fracture. He was flown to a trauma center from Northside Park.


BONE FOUND BY CLAMMERS--- A person out clamming in the Rehoboth Bay Sunday reported finding what appears to be a humerus bone. DNREC was notified around 5 p.m. and is investigating.


EARLY-HOUR O.C. FIRE ALARM ACTIVATIONS--- Ocean City firefighters responded to four early morning fire alarm activations this weekend.

Sat. 12:25 a.m., Americana Hotel, 913 Atlantic Avenue, a smoke detector activated after a fire extinguisher had been maliciously discharged in the restroom of Hammerheads Bar & Grill.

Sat. 2:40 a.m., Harrison Hall Hotel, 1407 Atlantic Avenue, a 4th-floor fire alarm pull station had been maliciously activated setting off the hotel's audible alarm.

Sun. 1:25 a.m., Bay 1 Condo, 111 76th Street, a possible alarm system malfunction was suspected for activating the audible fire alarm. The building was in the process of being evacuated when firefighters arrived.

Sun. 1:50 a.m., Surf Crest Condo, 109 Caroline Street, the fire alarm activated after a fire sprinkler broke spraying water.



2 Rehoboth Beach police officers receive commendations

After-hours near-drowning (Dewey, Tuesday)

Jet Ski crash near Strawberry Landing injures 1 (Wednesday)

Early morning crash on Rt 5 in Harbeson area (Sunday) [State PD news release]

2 arrested in Wawa fight (Rehoboth, Sunday)

Flexible mats provide better beach access

Review Rehoboth Beach wastewater ocean outfall project proposal

Departure of lifeguards leaves Gordons Pond beach unguarded

With last piping plover chicks fledged, Gordons Pond beach reopens

Pedestrian accidents down, but problem persists

Longest ship ever sunk for reefing in the Atlantic undergoes preps [click here for WGMD interview with reef manager]

Bedbugs invade Delmarva


Real-time ship plotter: http://henney.com/sp

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