August 19, 2006




Contacts: Susan L. Johnson or                                        Dr. Peter Hartsock

Day phone: 301-545-0581 Aug. 17                                   Cell: 301-442-1564

Home phone: 301-949-2158, Cell: 301-351-3379





On Saturday morning, August 19, 2006 from Troops 495 and 1083 in Silver Spring, Maryland, will gather at the Headquarters of the Dewey Beach Patrol for the Fifth Annual Beach Safety Day program on water safety in memory of Michael Johnson who drowned at Rehoboth Beach on August 23, 1998. The program will begin at 10:00 a.m. until noon following the Scouts participation in the 4th Books and coffee 10k / 5k run walk at the Rusty Rudder Plaza at 8:00 a.m.  They will man the water tables for the runners.  

Their special guest who is in a wheelchair is JOSH BASILE of Potomac, Maryland.  


On Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. JOSH BASILE will give a presentation on his life BEFORE and AFTER his accident to the Dewey Beach Patrol lifeguards and Boy Scouts at the Patrol HQ at One Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach.   It is a dramatic presentation which has drawn standing ovations from lifeguards who daily confront danger and possible tragedy in the ocean.  Josh has also spoken to many school and college groups about his life and ocean water safety.  He will be available at other times during the weekend upon request. 


JOSH’s neck was broken on August 4, 2004, when a rogue wave hit him and left him helpless in the water soon after he entered the water after arriving at Bethany Beach for a family vacation. Josh was going into his sophomore year on a tennis scholarship at Skidmore College when he became paralyzed from his neck injury. He has since become a spokesperson for improved public education and research on preventing injuries at the ocean, and has formed a foundation ( whose goals are:


·        To ease and simplify the difficult transition families of newly injured spinal cord patients make from normal life to recovery;

·        To widely circulate information about beach safety so that future beach injuries may be prevented;

·        To support and provide funding for spinal cord related research and rehabilitative organizations and projects.


Under the leadership of Captain Todd Fritchman and lifeguards of the Dewey Beach Patrol, the Scouts will receive hands-on water safety training and engage in simulated water rescues in the surf, receive advice on physical requirements to become a lifeguard and talks about rip currents, other water hazards, and first aid.


The weekend program is jointly sponsored by the Dewey Beach Patrol, Mike’s parents Susan and Carl Johnson of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Dr. Peter Hartsock, board member of the U.S. Lifesaving Association and coordinator of the United Open Water Lifesaving Program, which has trained a number of lifeguards from the Dewey Beach and other Beach Patrols to be available to do rescue jumps from the Delaware State Aviation Police Helicopter, Chopper 2.  Mike Johnson’s death in 1998 became a motivation to improve coordination of services involved in rescue operations and to provide education on water safety. 



Susan L. Johnson

12800 Teaberry Road

Silver Spring, Md 20906

(H) 301-949-2158