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Lavallette Guards Already Busy With Rescues, Beach Badge Revenue Tops $1M

Lavallette life boat. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Lavallette life boat. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Lavallette’s lifeguards, less than a month into their seasonal duties, have already saved lives, officials said. Meanwhile, a junior lifeguard program is thriving in town and beach badge revenue is among the best it has ever been.

The good news was delivered by Borough Councilman Michael Stogdill Monday night at a council meeting. Beach badge revenue eclipsed the $1 million mark on July 4 itself, and visitors have kept coming back for more.

“Dailies have been down, which is not a bad thing when weeklies are up and seasonals are way up,” he said, of the different badge types. “It’s a win-win, for the businesses too, because it brings people back into town rather than folks staying for one day and leaving.”

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As for the $1 million milestone: “That is ahead of what we have done in the same time period for the last two or three years, each of which was a good year,” Stogdill said, adding that the sales total as of Monday was $1,048,174.

More importantly, the borough’s lifeguards have been responsible for even more good news this season. So far, the guards have achieved 13 swimmer assists, two full-on rescues, three first aid cases (including a broken ankle) and located three lost children who were reunited with their parents.

“They’ve been extremely busy up there,” said Stogdill, reminding the public that the borough continues to follow the alerts put out by Ortley Beach’s lightning detection system, which will soon be networked with a new detector on Philadelphia Avenue. “Storms have been rampant in the area. When that goes off, we have to get our personnel off the beach as quickly and safely as possible as they are alerting the patrons that it is strongly recommended they leave the beach. The water is closed – you cannot enter the water until one half-hour after the last lightning strike. That is the law.”

The next generation of Lavallette lifeguards are also making an impact this summer. Lavallette’s Junior Lifeguard program, which generally targets youths between 13 and 15-years-old, has been a major success.

“They’re training, doing the maintenance and learning,” said Stogdill. “Thirteen to 15 is the best age. There are a few more spots left, and it’s a great program to get started with.”

More on the Junior Guards program can be found on the borough’s website.

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