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Rehoboth Beach Patrol turns 100, prepares for a busy summer season

City of Rehoboth Beach
The Rehoboth Beach Patrol turns 100-years-old this year and will mark the milestone this summer by ringing a bell every day as the guards head to their beach stands.

The Rehoboth Beach Patrol celebrates a milestone this year, marking its 100th anniversary in 2021.

And newly appointed captain Jeff Giles says they plan to recognize that throughout the summer season.


“We have a bell that signifies the 100th year, with the insignia of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol," said Giles. "What we’re using it for is - on the weekends and holidays throughout the summer - we will be ringing the bell to signify - number one - that the Beach Patrol is ready to take the beach. And number two, it’s for the purposes of remembering all those lifeguards that served throughout the years.” 

The 15-pound brass bell will soon be mounted on a frame with wheels so it can be brought out and rung every day.


“We have important VIP’s who ring the bell, alumni, sponsors and people that just promote the Beach Patrol," said Giles, "We will do it when the weather’s permitting - when it’s really nice - which it wasn’t great this (past) weekend. But when the weather is permitting, we’ll do it down on the beach.”

Giles took over as the beach patrol’s captain two-and-a-half-months ago, succeeding Kent Buckson.


He oversees 40 lifeguards, five EMT’s and a few other support staff.


Giles was a Rehoboth lifeguard from 1981 to 1986, then joined the Delaware State Police for 32 years. 


He notes his lifeguards are prepared for a busier than normal season now that COVID restrictions are lifted and more people are vaccinated.


Giles asks beachgoers to respect people around them on the beach and give them some space.  


He adds that people should be respectful of anyone choosing to wear a mask and anyone not vaccinated should wear one.

The Rehoboth Beach Patrol is on duty Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.