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obx ocean rescue: so much more than hot bods

We all know they’re there, but we usually don’t think about how critical the job of lifesaving is on our OBX beaches until something bad happens. Then we are eternally grateful for those “kids” with binoculars manning the stands. In this beautifully crafted article for Our State by local Beth Storie, we learn something about the hard work, determination and heart it takes to become a guard with Ocean Rescue.

lifeguard stand

Standing guard. Photo by Dawn Church.

“To the outside observer, the job appears glamorous: Fit, bronzed young people get to be on the beach all day, driving ATVs, ever watchful for signs of distress in or out of the water, ever watched by the admiring sunbathers. They’re heroes who save a drowning man or reunite a lost child with her family.

Guards appreciate the cred, sure. But after a couple of weeks on the stand, after several rescues, the absolute seriousness of what they do day in and day out on the beach becomes crystal clear: This is not your ordinary summer job. And it’s way beyond knowing that people on the beach think you’re hot.

That metamorphosis from young guard to seasoned veteran is part of what Chad Motz, captain of the Nags Head squad since 2004, appreciates witnessing. “It’s almost like a transition from kid into adult. When they’ve had that experience of actually saving a person’s life, of knowing that, had they not been there with their skills, that person most likely would have died — well, it changes them. They begin to respect themselves and the job in a deeper way. And when I see that change in self-respect — confidence — it affects pretty much everything else in their lives.”

Read the rest of the story on Our State!

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