Lifeguard Stands Go Missing after Lifeguard Competition


Adjacent beach patrols come to aid Henlopen Acres guards

The United States Lifesaving Association’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships returned to Rehoboth Beach last Wednesday bringing lifeguards from New York through Virginia to town.

The following morning, the lifeguard stand near Dewey Beach Patrol headquarters on Dagsworthy Street disappeared and the makeshift lighting for the beach access there had been dismantled and strewn across the beach. Around 11 a.m., the lifeguard stand was found floating off Cape Henlopen and was later returned to Dewey.

On Friday, lifeguards reporting for work discovered two stands missing from Henlopen Acres and one missing from North Shores. Both patrols participated in Wednesday’s competition along with Dewey and Rehoboth.

One of the missing Henlopen Acres stands was soon discovered buried in the sand. Lifeguards from the Rehoboth Beach Patrol, including Chief Rich Szvitich, as well as North Shores guards, came to help Henlopen Acres guards dig it out. Rehoboth also provided this spare RBP “loaner” stand for the one that was still missing.

Photo courtesy Tony Crivella, Dewey Beach Preservation & Raking

All this was reminiscent of the time when seven RBP stands disappeared on the morning of July 9, 2015, a day after the USLA Mid-Atlantic Regional Lifeguarding Championships in Rehoboth. Days later, boaters reported spotting the floating chairs. Eventually, each was recovered with the last one coming to shore off the Outer Banks during Labor Day Weekend. Although police did interview a group of suspects, they were unable to obtain enough evidence to make any arrests in that case.

Sgt. India Sturgis, Delaware State Police spokesperson, and Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, Dewey Beach police spokesperson, both confirm that police have taken reports in last week’s cases, but they do not have any suspect leads at this time.