2005 in Review:

June 26

NWBP Guards Revive Unconscious Woman

By Lauryl Desantis
Staff Writer Wildwood Leader

NORTH WILDWOOD—Weekly CPR training may have saved a young girl's life here during an urgent beach rescue early Sunday afternoon on June 26.

When lifeguard Steven Perri noticed the tide splashing up over the body of a motionless beach-goer, Perri approached the young woman around 11:30 a.m. After attempting to wake her several times, he found that she had no pulse and was not breathing, according to North Wildwood Beach Patrol officials.

Perri instantly raised the emergency rescue flag and signaled to Lt. Bill Ciavarelli and Supervisor Chuck Iepson who were stationed at the main beach patrol building at 15th Avenue. The team immediately began to administer CPR and was able to revive the 22-year-old within minutes.

After being revived, she immediately became responsive and began vomiting, said Ciavarelli. "We were giving her CPR for a good one or two minutes," said Ciavarelli. "It really was an eye opener, but it just goes to show that our training really works"

Rescue medic Michael Brown arrived almost immediately after the two men revived the girl and assisted in the effort, Ciavarelli said.

Lifeguards Nick Smith, Brian Beitz, Steve Dingley and John Palumbo arrived on the scene and shortly secured the area.

"People on the beach must have been calling 911," said Ciavarelli. "Within minutes the beach was covered with the fire department, rescue squad and police."

The girl was then taken to Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital, during which she lost consciousness for the second time, according to of­ficials.

Beach officials reported that drugs were found in the girl's handbag. However, Wildwood Police Capt. Robert Matteucci said that whether or not the incident was drug-related has remained in-conclusive and could not comment on whether or not drugs were found at the scene.

Matteucci said the incident was a health issue and no arrests or charges have been made."When young people pass out or go unconscious it's always a problem," he said. "Healthy people don't usually do that, so drug overdose is just something we naturally would look into."

The girl was released from the hospital two days later, officials said.

It remains unclear, however, why a friend who was sunbathing with the victim told Perri that she was only sleeping when he approached them. The lifeguards said that they watched the girl for a moment, but soon realized that she wasn't sleeping and It was much more serious.

There are 50 lifeguards on duty during the weekends to cover the 25 areas between the Inlet and 25th Avenue. Lifeguards are currently giving weekly CPR training, tests and rescue training, which continue throughout the season.

In the event of an emergency, guards are given emergency rescue flags and radios to contact the main lifeguard and medic stand on 15th Avenue.

According to officials, a drug-related beach rescue has not occurred in more than 14 years; and, rescuers have not had to revive anyone out side of the water in almost two decades.

The lifeguards involved in the rescue were given proclamations during a recent North Wildwood City Council meeting.

July 10

North Wildwood Regains Cape May County Title

Staff Writer


WILDWOOD CREST – The North Wildwood Beach Patrol was consistently one of the top competitors at South Jersey Lifeguard Chiefs' Association competitions in the mid to late 1990s.

Now, after a few years of having some trouble competing with the top patrols, NWBP appears to be back.

Capitalizing on a disqualification of an Ocean City competitor in the second race of the evening, North Wildwood ended Ocean City's four-year reign as county champion with a victory at the 22nd annual Cape May County Lifeguard Championships Sunday evening. The event had been postponed from Friday due to in-clement weather. 

North Wildwood used a trio of first-place finishes and a third-place showing from a returning South Jersey champion to amass 21 points, edging second-place Ocean City by two points. Host Wildwood Crest was third with 18 points, with Stone Harbor (11) and Sea Isle City (10) rounding out the top five.

North Wildwood last won a county title in 2000 after also winning in 1998 and 1999. "This is our fifth county championship in the last 11 years and it's very sweet," said North Wildwood Beach Patrol Chief Tony Cavalier. 

Seven-year NWBP veteran Nick Macko won two events to pace his patrol. Macko and Ocean City's Paul Mangen, the event's defending champion, were neck-and-neck toward the end of the box paddleboard race, the first of Macko's two events. Mangen, however, dropped his rescue board in ankle deep water and was disqualified from the event for not properly carrying his board across a designated area. Mangen crossed the line after the short run ahead of the field, but Macko was awarded first place. Two other competitors were disqualified from the race for the same infraction. 

Wildwood Crest's Alex Duppel, a Wild-wood High School graduate, officially finished second.

"The rules state that the competitors must carry their boards across the line on the beach, leave the board at that point and head in," said Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol Capt. Buddy Johnson. ''The competitors from Ocean City, Upper Township and Sea Isle City all dropped their paddleboards in the water and ran to the beach. The rules for the event are clear: They have to bring the boards across the line first and then run back to the finish. Because they dropped their hoards in the water, they were disqualified. It's unfortunate that it happened but those are the rules." 

After a one-event rest, Macko participated in the run-swim biathlon, an event that consists of a one-mile beach run and a 400-yard swim. Macko and Wildwood Crest's Joe Maloy, a Wildwood Catholic graduate and Boston College athlete who also finished second in the swim one event earlier, emerged from the surf in a dead heat with about 50 yards to go in the race. Macko stood up and ran through the surf, beating Maloy, who chose to porpoise twice before rising, to the beach and the finish line. 

"(Maloy and I) ran together and swam together the whole way," said Macko, a 24-year-old Philadelphia native who now life-guards in Hollywood, Fla., in the winter months. "He's such a great runner that I just tried to stay with him." 

Macko and Maloy trailed Ocean City's John Richardson, a former star distance runner at Ocean City High School who now runs at the University of Kentucky, after the run portion of the event. 

"Joe and I both talked about reeling him in and going after the leader when we got in the water," said Macko. "We really have a friendly competition. "I've never seen two guys this close in first and second place in the rum-swim. The whole way, we were next to each other in the run and stroke for stroke in the swim. It just came down to someone taking it at the end." 

Cavalier marveled at the efforts of both Macko and Maloy for competing two events, with Maloy going back-to-back in the swim and run-swim. "To see the young man do back-to-back events and do as well as he did is a phenomenal performance," Cavalier said of Maloy. 

"I don't know many guys who could do what he did. I know Macko was spent and he had a break in between his two events." 

Ocean City's Dan Garbutt enjoyed an excellent evening, teaming with his brother, Matt, to win the doubles row for the third straight year while also taking first place in the singles row. "It means a lot to me to be able to double up." Dan Garbutt said humbly. "There's such great competition here, the athletes are awesome." 

Stone Harbor had strong showings in both rowing events. Dave Insogna and Chirs Kullack placed second in the doubles row, with past county champ Darrick Kobierowski placing second in the singles row. 

Pat Healy, for the past few years a top swimmer on the lifeguard circuit, won his first county title by beating Maloy in the box swim by seven seconds. Healy pulled away from Maloy and three other swimmers in the final 100 yards of the swim. 

"We were all packed up. When we got to the last turn, that's when I tried to turn it on," said Healy, a 20-year-old Penn State student. "I was hoping to catch a wave coming in, but it was so flat there was nothing to catch. I'm not a great runner so I knew I'd have to have a good lead when we got out of the water." 

North Wildwood got key points in the event from Bill Auty, who finished third. Auty, who won numerous lifeguard swim competitions in the 1990s and was a South Jersey swim champion in 1997, has returned to the North Wildwood Beach Patrol after a six-year hiatus. 

Needing to score significant points in the final event of the evening, the surf dash relay, in order to secure the title, North Wildwood's Tim Fynes, Steve Hanlon, Mike Fromhold and Drew Williams won the race easily, beating the Crest's Rob King, Mike Murphy, Charlie Hook and John King by eight seconds.  

Fromhold ran out to a short lead after the first leg, with Williams and Hanlon extending it in the second and third legs. Fynes easily finished the race out, raising both arms in triumph as he ran the last 30 yards to the finishing pole.

"I knew we had a good team going in." Cavalier said. "1 knew Nick and Auty would be close to first in their events and I knew we had a good surf dash team because we've always been strong in that event and those guys have been working hard. And we did get a break but that's part of racing. It's unfortunate for Ocean City, but we'll take it." 

BEACH BITS: Kaitlin Anzelone, the 2003 Wildwood High School graduate who passed away earlier this month from cancer, was honored in a variety of ways during the event. Competitors from the Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol wore No. 24 — Anzelone's high school uniform number for sports — on their arms and swim caps and the Crest's race boat had the same number scripted on it. In addition, Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol Capt. Bud Johnson began the awards ceremony with a moment of silence for Anzelone and her family. Funeral services for Anzelone were held Saturday and Monday. 

TEAM SCORING: 1. North Wildwood, 21 points; 2. Ocean City, 19; 3. Wildwood Crest, 18; 4. Stone Harbor, 11: 5. Sea Isle City, 10; 6. Avalon, 6; 7. Upper Township, 4; 8. Cape May, 3; 9. Cape May Point, 2; 10. Wildwood, 1.

July 10

It's More than Just Plain Luck for the NWBP Surf Dash Team

Staff Writer

WILDWOOD CREST – Controversial col­lege basketball coach Bobby Knight has a saying about luck: "Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity."

When it comes to South Jersey Lifeguard Chiefs' Association lifeguard races, a lot of luck can he involved in any given event, whether it's catching a wave, avoiding a gully or getting caught in a current.

A lot of luck can he involved in the surf dash relay, an event in which four competitors race in turn from a standing position at a pole on the beach to a pole located anywhere from waist- to chest-high water in the surf and back to the original pole on the beach. Falling into a gully, tripping over a wave or porpoising at the wrong time can cost an individual during his leg and, thus, his team during the race.

The four members of the North Wildwood Reach Patrol's surf dash team – leadoff man Mike Fromhold, Drew Williams, Stephen Hanlon and anchor Tim Fynes – made sure to prepare well for last weekend's Cape May County Championships, so that when their opportunity arose, they'd be able to create their own luck.

With North Wildwood needing a win in the event to secure the county title, Fromhold established an early lead that was increased by Williams in the second leg. Hanlon in-creased it even more during the third leg, allowing Fynes to coast to victory during the anchor leg.

"We had a pretty good idea what the (team) score was going in," said Fynes, 19, a year-round North Wildwood resident who attends Atlantic Cape Community College. "We knew we had to win to win the whole thing. We knew it came down to us."

Fromhold made sure all the other surf dash teams were playing catch-up after the first leg. even though he downplayed the impor­tance of getting his team off to a fast start. "My leg is just as important as everyone else's but you do want to come out first." said Fromhold, 20, a Penn State student who resides in Broomall. Pa. 'But it is easier to he ahead because there's less of a chance of taking a spill when you're ahead. When you're playing catch-up, that's when things can go wrong'.

Once Williams extended his team's lead in the second leg. it became obvious that only a major mistake or unlucky step would cost his team. "I was just trying to set the last two guys up," said Williams, 21 a fifth-year lifeguard who resides in Northeast Philadelphia and attends Bucks County Community College. "That way they didn't have to catch up to the others. I know (having a lead) relieves the pressure for the guys at the end."

The four members of the surf (lash team, who prepared for the race by doing lots of drills related to the event on both land and in the water, took great pride in being the group that clinched North Wildwood's first county title in five summers.

"It's unbelievable, really, and it's really good for the chief (Tony Cavalier) and the patrol," said Hanlon, a 23-year-old Temple University student who resides in Ridley Park. Pa. "Winning really brings the guys together and creates even more comraderie, and that's the best part about it. It gives everyone a boost and makes us look forward to the next competition.

"Where the members of the NWBP surf dash team hope to create even more luck for themselves.

July 15

NWBP Wins Back Beschen-Callahan Title

Staff Writer

NORTH WILDWOOD – To say that the North Wild-wood Beach Patrol takes the Beschen-Callahan Memorial Lifeguard Races seriously would be an understatement.

For starters, the event is held on their home beach, and secondly, it honors a pair of former North Wild-wood lifeguards, Jim Beschen and Mike Callahan, who were killed during the Vietnam War.

North Wildwood had won 10 straight B-C titles before Sea Isle City stopped that streak by winning the event for each of the past two summers. But coming off a win at the Cape May County Championships one week earlier, North Wildwood was poised to take back the crown it so desperately covets.

Thanks to four first-place victories, North Wildwood did just that Friday night, beating Sea Isle by five points to win the 2005 Beschen-Callahan title. North Wildwood scored in five of the seven events and totaled 22 points, with Sea Isle City collecting 17 points. Stone Harbor and Avalon were next with nine points, with Stone Harbor awarded third place via tiebreaker.

Drew Williams led North Wildwood's effort. He teamed with Mike Fromhold. Steve Hanlon and Tim Fynes to win the surf dash relay for the second straight week in the evening's fourth event. Later, with the team title on the line in the final event, Williams won the can run to clinch the championship for his patrol. "I didn't know the score, but I knew I just had to do well," Williams said. "I wanted it for the patrol more than I wanted it for me."

Williams was neck-and-neck with two other competitors about two-thirds of the way through the can run, but was able to pull away by running through the water rather than porpoising or swimming. "I knew I had the legs for it and I didn't see any waves behind me that would carry me in," Williams said of his race strategy, "and running is definitely faster than swimming."

North Wildwood got its other two first-place finishes from Nick Macko and Bill Auty. Macko won the run-swim event for the second straight week. After going down to the wire with Wildwood Crest's Joe Maloy at the county race before winning at the finish, Macko found himself in the same situation once again and again pulled through with a solid push near the finish line.

"On the way in, I didn't see anyone behind me, but then when I popped up (in waist-high water in the surf), he was right next to me on a wave," Macko said of Maloy, who also competed in the box swim one event earlier and finished third.

"I knew he was doubling up so I thought I’d have enough in me to out-dash him at the end if I had to, but the kids incredible to be able to run the way he does after doing to events back-to-back.”

Auty, who returned to the North Wildwood Beach Patrol this summer for the first time since 1999, won the swim over defending champion Pat Healy of Sea Isle City and Maloy. Auty and Healy were close for much of the race but Healy took a more northerly course heading back to the beach, giving Auty a shorter distance to run to the finish.

"On the way in I was drafting off Pat but then he started to swim a little more north and I came straight in," Auty said.

In other events, Wildwood's Steve McGuinn and Mike McConnell won the doubles row, Stone Harbor's Darrick Kobierowski took first in the singles row and Sea Isle City's Tim Carroll heat an impressive field to win the two-mile run.

McGuinn, a 15th-year life-guard, and McConnell won for the first time as a crew, as McConnell beat Avalon's Shane McGrath during the short run to the finishing poles. The Wildwood and Avalon boats were in a virtual tie as they reached the beach, but McGrath jumped out of the boat a bit prematurely landing in a gully created by a small sandbar. McConnell instead had a clean run to the beach as the Wildwood boat waited to pass the gully before making a move toward land.

"We saw Shane jump out but I told Mike to hold on because we knew the gully was there," said McGuinn. "Mike's not the tallest guy, either, so we wanted to wait until we got past that gully. It's also a safety issue, too."

After a few summers of taking second and third place in the event, Kobierwoski won his first singles row title at the Beschen-Callahan race. "I got a nice wave at the end and I was able to row a nice course." said Kobierowski, 30, a 13-year veteran of the beach who teaches at Wildwood Catholic High School. "I didn't have to run as far at the end."

Carroll, a LaSalle University distance runner, won the two-mile run over Upper Township's Jimmy Wyner, who was the best two-mile high school runner in the state of New Jersey in 2003 when he competed for Mainland Regional High School, and North Wildwood's Sean Mick.

TEAM SCORING: North Wildwood, 22; 2. Sea Isle City, 17; 3. Stone Harbor, 9; 4. Avalon, 9; 5. Wildwood Crest. 7: 6. Upper Township 7; 7. Wildwood. 6.


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