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WEEKEND #14, 2009

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


Hurricane Bill blew past the Delaware coast on Saturday packing powerful waves and a higher-than-usual high tide. But surprisingly, the wind was mild. Beach goers were treated to a show of waves, and swells - which often resembled miniature tidal waves on the horizon - traveling across the Hen and Chicken Shoal off Cape Henlopen.

For much of the day on Saturday the Rehoboth Beach Patrol allowed beach goers in the surf only to their knees. But around 3:30 p.m., Capt. Kent Buckson cautiously allowed swimmers to re-enter the water. On Sunday, guards allowed adult swimmers and body boarders with fins in the ocean. Children were kept at ankle or knee depths.

The beach in Rehoboth was packed Saturday afternoon as Hurricane Bill approached the Delaware coast. According to the National Hurricane Center, Bill passed the Rehoboth latitude between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday almost 400 miles from shore.

While children were typically kept from the ocean, Saturday morning's high tide created tidal pools along the coast, like this one in the Deauville area, which provided free and safe entertainment for many kids.

In Ocean City, Capt. Butch Arbin says his guards kept swimmers out of the water on Saturday and waist-deep on Sunday. Surfing and body boards were allowed both days. He added that the reason the storm did not have the typical impact on the beach is because the weather system coming from the west had influenced the tropical conditions. He also noted that he saw more porpoise on Sunday morning than he's seen in many years, maybe ever.


A boy got knocked down by a wave and looked as if he were going to walk out on his own when the undertow dragged him back. Bystanders and family immediately rushed to save him. It happened just before 6:10 p.m. in front of the Henlopen Hotel. The beach patrol had gone off duty at 5:30 p.m.

Several waves crashed over the boy's head. Moments later, one of his family grabs him as waves crash around them.

And he is finally brought back to shore to his mother.



A man almost drowned Saturday after he was caught in the swift surf just north of the Rehoboth Beach city limits around 12:50 p.m. Rehoboth Beach guards had been prohibiting swimming at the time.

A witness said the man in the white shirt was in the ocean with the young boy and two other adults. That's when the man became distressed and was rescued by lifeguards. According to an EMS radio report, the 40 year old got tossed around in the surf and swallowed some salt water. He also complained of neck and back pain.

Rehoboth Beach EMS personnel put a neck collar on the man and strapped him to a backboard. They used a Gator to move him to the ambulance to take him to Beebe Hospital.

The group had been swimming in the area north of the Rehoboth Beach city limits and south of the Henlopen Acres Beach Club. Lifeguards from Rehoboth Beach and North Shores assisted Henlopen Acres Beach Club staff.

The day before in Rehoboth Beach, a 32-year-old man was slammed in the surf and suffered numbness and tingling in both legs, abdominal pain and cuts to his lip and face. It happened around 9:40 a.m. near Rehoboth Avenue about 20 minutes before lifeguards were on duty.

EMS reports suggested that he suffered a lower spinal injury. They took him by ambulance to the lot across from the County Bank on Coastal Highway where the state police helicopter flew him to Christiana Hospital.


Fire broke out in the former physician's office at 238 Rehoboth Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. A smoke odor could be smelled throughout downtown Rehoboth Beach.

Flames were visible from the rear corner windows adjacent to the Pig + Fish Restaurant, which was evacuated.

Police closed eastbound Rehoboth Avenue and Christian Street while firefighters extinguished the blaze. They had the fire knocked down before 7:45 p.m.

Spectators with camera (and video) phones in hand lined the streets on either side of the building to watch and record.

Lewes, Bethany firefighters and county paramedics responded to assist. The state fire marshal is investigating the cause. The Rehoboth Beach VFC has posted more photos, including shots of the interior on its Website.


This fundraiser got heads turning Friday along Rehoboth Avenue. A half-dozen Hooters girls offered to wash cars for $10 each.

The young ladies caught motorists' attention and directed them to the side lot where the cars got hosed and scrubbed.

In case you missed the opportunity to contribute, you can still make a donation (see the fire department's Website).


Photos by Greg Guise



Photo by Greg Guise


LIFEGUARD STAND FLOATS PAST REHOBOTH--- A lifeguard stand drifted slowly north past Hickman Street in the choppy surf around 10:45 a.m. Friday. Rehoboth Beach guards said it was about 400 to 500 yards from shore. None of the Rehoboth stands were missing, and the guards were unable to determine from where it was taken. The lifeguards considered pulling the stand back to shore, but they did not think the beach patrol's reel of rope was long enough.

MISSING BOY DISCOVERED 3 MILES AWAY, 2 HOURS LATER--- A massive search was launched Friday for a 9-year-old boy wearing silver shorts who disappeared on Tower Road in the Delaware Seashore State Park. One report said he was last seen in the surf around 3:45 p.m.

Rehoboth firefighters, the state police helicopter, Coast Guard, Lewes fire boat, Dewey and Rehoboth police joined DNREC park rangers in the search. Minutes after putting two officers on the beach in a pickup truck, Rehoboth police found the boy! He was watching an employee from the Rehoboth Toy & Kite Company on Virginia Avenue setting up his kites on the beach around 5:40 p.m. He was safely returned to his mother.

EARLY O.C. FIRE ALARM--- The fire alarm sounded at the Powell's Rooms and Apartments at 106 Dorchester Street just before 2 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters determined that it was a malfunction of the fire alarm system. There was no fire.

WEEKEND WATER INCIDENTS (other than those already listed above)

Friday 12:50 p.m. - Two persons were reported in the water after their sailboat capsized off Pot-Nets Seaside near Steals Cove and Massey's Ditch. Another boater picked up the two people as the Coast Guard, DNREC marine police and firefighters were responding.

Friday 3 p.m. - A vessel described initially as a Sunfish sailboat, later as a catamaran, was reported overturned about a mile from Roosevelt Inlet with one person in the water. Firefighters from Lewes and Slaughter Beach responded along with the state police helicopter, county paramedics, the Coast Guard and DNREC marine police. Officials eventually concluded that the boat made it safely to shore and nobody was in distress.

Friday 8:30 p.m. - Two swimmers, ages 16 and 22, were "last seen" in the surf near Essex Street off Fenwick Island around 5 p.m. They were safely located around 9:20 p.m. The Coast Guard, DNREC marine police and Fenwick Island police participated with the search.

Sunday 8:55 a.m. - The Coast Guard received a report of a capsized vessel several miles north of Slaughter Beach. DNREC marine police joined the investigation around 11:25 a.m. The vessel had the number "54" spray-painted on its bottom. They concluded that this was a boat that was reported adrift about a month ago, is presumably anchored and has yet to be salvaged.

Sunday 7:20 p.m. - Ocean City firefighters responded to swimmers reported having trouble returning to shore at 123rd Street. An off-duty lifeguard happened to be in the area, and other beach patrol members heard the radio report and responded. They safely rescued all of the swimmers.


3 KILLED IN MILTON AREA CRASH (7:35 a.m. Sunday)

SUV OVERTURNS ON ROUTE 50 (Wye Mills, Saturday)

5 ARRESTED AT ROUTE 50 DUI CHECKPOINT (Whaleyville, Friday/Saturday)

DRUNK CRASHES INTO WALL (Near Rehoboth, 1:30 a.m. Saturday)


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