WEEKEND #15, 2023
(Labor Day Weekend)
September 5, 2023
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
MAN DISAPPEARS IN REHOBOTH SURF; BODY FOUND FOLLOWING MORNING
About 22 minutes after lifeguards went off duty on Sunday, the Rehoboth Beach 9-1-1 center received about a dozen calls reporting a man in distress off Rehoboth Avenue. That sparked a massive multi-agency multi-hour surf search off Rehoboth Beach.
"I thought somebody was waving his hand," says a witness on the beach who identified himself as Mohan. "Probably he was shouting 'help' and we suddenly realized, yeah, he needs help. So then I started shouting 'Help! We need a lifeguard.' We were shouting, shouting, shouting and finally when I turned to this side. I can't see him. He just lifted his hand and he drowned," Mohan added.
Off-duty Rehoboth Beach Patrol guards assisted by lifeguards from other patrols conducted multiple searches of the surf. Several groups of a half dozen or so guards clung to a rope as they dragged it through the water parallel to the beach -- just like on Bay Watch.
The Sussex County Lifesaving Association community came together Sunday night, as one observer pointed out. They performed valiantly despite the circumstances, he added.
Police later identified the missing man as 31-year-old Richard A. Boateng of Savage, Md.
He apparently was in town with others including his girlfriend who had been in close contact with police.
Photo courtesy Phil Gansert
The lifeguards, the Coast Guard, DNREC, the state police helicopter, Rehoboth Beach police and the volunteer fire company were unsuccessful in locating Boateng throughout the evening.
At one point around 6:30 p.m., the massive holiday crowd briefly shifted its focus when another man was pulled up on the beach just south of Rehoboth Avenue. He was still conscious, but exhausted and pale. An ambulance took him to the hospital.
Photo courtesy Richard Tananis
The search for Boateng continued into the darkness using mostly Coast Guard vessels and a helicopter. They also fired several parachute flares hoping to spot him.
Photo courtesy Richard Tananis
His body was discovered here just before 6 a.m. Monday at the jetty along the border of North Shores/Gordon's Pond beach. Ironically, the well-guarded Gordon's Pond lot was where the President would depart via Marine One less than two hours later.
Photo courtesy Tony Crivella, Dewey Beach Preservation & Raking 94
We do not know for sure yet if his death was rip current related, but in the Sunday surf zone forecast, the National Weather Service had warned of a high rip current risk which kept lifeguards busy this past weekend.
If this indeed is determined to be a drowning, it would be the city's only one of the year.
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POTUS RETURNS FOR FIRST LABOR DAY WEEKEND VISIT!
According to USAF VIP LOGISTICS, this was the President's 19th visit to his beach house since entering office and his first visit during Labor Day Weekend. He arrived via Marine One around 7:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Once again, the only trip he took into town was this 18-vehicle motorcade for 4:30 p.m. mass on Sunday at Saint Edmond Roman Catholic Church.
He and his two decoy helicopters departed early Monday from Gordon's Pond parking lot to start a busy Labor Day schedule.
Photos courtesy Richard Tananis
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FREE PARKING AT LAKE GERAR IS FOR PIER AND PICNIC AREA ONLY!
This has been a chronic problem all summer, particularly on busy weekends. Motorists who are not visiting Lake Gerar are abusing these free reserved parking spots!
The parking spaces are marked with this sign.
Four of the vehicles on Saturday afternoon received citations and were about to get towed!
But at least one of the drivers returned before the tow trucks arrived.
SUMMER CRIME STATS FOR REHOBOTH BEACH
While the big cities like Washington, D.C. have been hammered by crime all summer, things in Rehoboth Beach have been good.
No homicides. No shootings. No robberies or even a carjacking! And that is for the calendar year so far, not just since Memorial Day Weekend!
There was also one -- and only one -- complaint of sounds of gunfire reported on June 30 which Lt. Jaime Riddle, police spokesman, said was likely fireworks.
Lt. Riddle said there was one stolen auto so far this year in town and four unauthorized use of vehicle complaints (when someone who is known to the owner fails to return the vehicle, etc.).
There were also 18 misplaced auto complaints (people who can't find their cars) so far which is down from 2021 and 2022 which each had 20 or more.
One category that increased this year in town is for drug overdose deaths. Both Arshon Howard, Department of Safety and Homeland Security spokesperson, and Lt. Riddle declined to provide specifics on the two deaths here in Rehoboth Beach. In Delaware, unlike Maryland, autopsy reports and information contained therein is not a public record.
So we are unable to determine the type of drug or drugs that were involved in the deaths reported here on Sunday, May 21, in the ocean block of Olive Avenue and on Friday, July 21, in the ocean block of New Castle Street.
In Maryland, completed autopsy results including the toxicology reports are available for public inspection once the investigation is closed. This is not the case in Delaware.
"At a glance," Lt. Riddle writes, "it appears the state publishes general overdose statistics at https://myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov/topics/drug-overdose-deaths/locations/state using statistical data provided by the Division of Forensic Science."
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THE FINAL MERR REPORT FOR 2023!
Suzanne Thurman from the MERR Institute says her organization investigated a deceased loggerhead sea turtle in Bethany last week which turned out to be the victim of a boat propeller strike. They also had a partial carcass of an unidentified sea turtle at Pickering Beach.
Fall is a special time here for viewing marine animals, Thurman points out. The bottlenose dolphins should be in the area through mid-October and sea turtles until the end of October. Humpback whale mother-and-calf pairs will be visible from the beach throughout the month of October as well.
"We hope our coastal area will continue to provide a safe habitat for these magnificent creatures," she says. "We always like to give special thanks to all of our volunteers, and to all of the members of the public who reported stranded marine mammals and sea turtles to us throughout the summer so that we could respond and study each one," she added.
Here is an interesting find that Thurman assisted with this holiday weekend. Diane Scobey says this little guy was found at Gordon's Pond beach on Sunday.
Photo courtesy Diane Scobey
"A kind woman kept trying to put him out in the ocean but he kept coming back onshore," Scobey said. She checked with Thurman who identified him as a diamondback terrapin. "They are salt-water turtles but not sea turtles," she pointed out.
One tip we learned from Thurman is that sea turtles have flippers while land turtles have claws. The terrapins and other turtles are sometimes washed into the ocean by mistake, so that is a helpful tip when trying to get the turtle into the proper habitat.
As for the baby terrapin, Scobey said he was taken to the dunes to find a more suitable environment.
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RICHARD TANANIS: THE REHOBOTH GENUS BEHIND THE AMAZING PHOTOS!
His photos -- many taken from the Star of the Sea -- have become a regular staple of these weekly reports, so some history on Richard Tananis and his work is long overdue! This is in his own words...
I have enjoyed photography since I got my hands on a Kodak Instamatic back in the late 1960s. I lost interest in the hobby as an adult, but things changed. After getting my degree as a dentist, I was appointed a faculty member at a dental school. A mentor advised me to learn 'macro photography' so that I could make photographs of my dental treatment to show students. Using a Canon AE-1, an ancient Vivitar lens, extension tubes and a ring flash, I practiced this skill. Not wanting to bother my patients until I became proficient, I practiced on flowers. It didn't take long for me to discover that shooting photos of flowers was more fun than shooting photos of teeth.
When digital single-lens reflex cameras came out, I got even more interested. Film photography can be expensive if you make mistakes. DSLR cameras allow you to practice and see the result instantly. I became more interested in photography. After a few months, I purchased my first professional-grade lens with a wide aperture. I learned the concept of 'background blur' and was hooked.
After many years of living and working in the Philadelphia area, in 2006 I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of moving to a home on the ocean. It's a tiny efficiency apartment with a bed that folds into the wall, but it allows me to wake up and get some nice views of the sun rising.
I do not sell my photos, but anyone can buy one of my prints by going into my dental office and writing out a check to a local charity. So, you make a donation to the charity and I donate a print of your choice to you. When I retire from dentistry, I might try to make a modest living off of my photography. For now, it's just a hobby.
Be sure to take a closer look at his photos on Flickr.
Photos courtesy Richard Tananis
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CELEBRATING BARBIE DOLL MANIA AT FREDDIE'S!
With all of the Barbie mania this past summer after the release of the Barbie movie, it's a no-brainer that Fox5 and ABC7 would interview Freddie Lutz who owns the Freddie's Beach Bar & Restaurants in Arlington and Rehoboth. His establishments are decorated with his passion for the popular doll including all of its variations: the Hispanic, Chinese, Rosa Parks, Cher and Tina Turner Barbies! He isn't certain how many Barbie dolls he has collected, it is in the hundreds, he says. A friend made this amazing doll of him which he has on display with the many others.
When "Barbie the movie came outů it has created a stir," says Lutz, 72, who has collected the Barbies since he was a kid and now proudly displays his collection in his restaurants. "It is a fun place when you walk into Freddie's," he explains, as "you know it is all about fun [with its] royal purple, hot pink and aqua, a very colorful decor." As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he appreciates those details.
That combined with his collection, he hopes to share his passion with his customers. "I keep collecting them, I don't know if I need another restaurant to put them all," he jokes.
He is also proud of his restaurants and welcomes visitors. He has the only permanent dance floor in downtown Rehoboth Beach and offers karaoke, dance parties, Pamala Stanley, drag shows on Fridays, and drag buffet brunch on Sundays. You can come and have your photo taken in his "Barbie box," like Freddie!
Freddie's is under new management with a new menu and he encourages you to come and visit and admire his collection! He is at 3 South First Street in downtown Rehoboth Beach.
Photos courtesy Freddie Lutz
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JASON WRIGHT'S "EPHEMERAL MEMOIRS" OPENS AT GALLERY 50
Jason Wright returned to Gallery 50 this past Friday with his latest work, "Ephemeral Memoirs," a thought-provoking series that explores the concept of memory and its transient nature. "Inspired by the fleeting moments that shape our lives," he explains, "I aim to capture the essence of these ephemeral experiences and transform them into visual narratives."
Memory is a delicate and elusive phenomenon, constantly evolving and subject to distortion, he points out. "Through my work," he says, "I seek to preserve these fleeting memories, allowing them to transcend time and space. By combining various mediums such as oil, oil pastels, crayons, beeswax and resin, I create layered compositions that evoke a sense of nostalgia and introspection." This one is titled, Abeyance...
Each piece in the show is a visual representation of a specific memory, a fragment of a larger story, he says. "Ultimately, 'Ephemeral Memoirs' is an invitation to embrace the beauty and fragility of memory. It is a celebration of the fleeting moments that define us, reminding us to cherish the present and acknowledge the impermanence of our past," he explains. For example, this is his Desiderium...
Wright's exhibition will be on display at Gallery 50 through September 20.
Photos courtesy Dale McGann and Jason Wright
The Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival returns on September 16...
THIS IS THE LAST WEEKEND UPDATE FOR 2023!
My poor mother (and I) just made it to Labor Day. As I say, every day is a blessing and a struggle these days. I am grateful for the photos, tips and stories that helped keep me reporting this summer while caregiving. Thanks also to our regular photographer friends, contributors, WGMD Radio (The Talk of Delmarva) and the sponsors who help cover the rising MailChimp and hosting fees.
Thank you, Judy Atkinson, our good neighbor, for helping watch mom when I had to run!
Please forgive me as I missed a few emails and "photos of the week" received during one of mom's four hospitalizations this summer. I have trouble keeping up.
Have a good off-season and please stay in touch.
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Great Blue Heron at Nutter's Crossing Golf Course by Gil Hofheimer ...
The Birds at the Delaware Seashore State Park Beach by Susan Howard ...
Sunrise In Rehoboth Beach by Megan Senske Capito via Frank Senske ...
Surfing at Indian River Inlet by Caitlin Stoddard via Evan Stoddard ...
81-YEAR-OLD MOTORCYCLIST INJURED IN CRASH--- An 81-year-old man riding a silver 2010 Honda Cruiser motorcycle was driving north on Coastal Highway when he rear-ended a black 2018 Jeep Cherokee, says Cpl. David Huynh, state police spokesman. It happened around 5:40 p.m. on Saturday near Atlantic Social outside Rehoboth. The motorcyclist, who was wearing a helmet and was partially ejected, was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No injuries were reported in the Jeep. Police issued a citation to the motorcyclist for inattentive driving and failure to have insurance ID in possession.
MAN PULLED FROM FENWICK SURF IN CARDIAC ARREST--- A man in his 60s or 70s was pulled from the surf in Fenwick Island in cardiac arrest this past Wednesday. It happened around 3:20 p.m. on the Delaware side of the state line off Fenwick Avenue. Lifeguards and paramedics were successful at regaining his pulse before loading him onto a helicopter to be flown to a trauma center. It was suspected but unclear if he suffered a neck/back injury prior to going into cardiac arrest.
MAN INJURED IN FALL AFTER ATTEMPTING TO SLIDE DOWN RAILING--- A 23-year-old man fell 12-15 feet after he attempted to ride the outside railing of an Ocean City motel stairway around 9:50 p.m. this past Saturday. It happened at the Safari Motel on 13th Street. He flipped over the railing from the third floor and landed on the 2nd-floor landing. He was taken to a trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries.
MAN INJURED AFTER VAN FALLS OFF JACK--- A 38-year-old man was injured just before 4 p.m. this past Thursday when a van he had been working under fell off the jack, briefly trapping him. It happened on Silver Point Lane in West Ocean City. He was quickly freed and taken to a trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries.
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