Local author Robert M. Craig publishes book on Ocean City Beach Patrol

August 17, 2019

Historian and former 8th Street Ocean City lifeguard Robert M. Craig has published an illustrated book titled “Maryland’s Ocean City Beach Patrol.”

Craig is the son and namesake of Captain Robert S. Craig who headed the Ocean City Beach Patrol from 1946-87. The younger Craig served on the beach patrol from 1960-65, and his son Christopher became the first third-generation member of the beach patrol in 1999.

The new book, published by Arcadia Press, is an illustrated history of the Ocean City Beach Patrol, featuring over 250 illustrations, both archival and by local photographers. The book includes a brief prehistory on ocean lifesaving prior to the establishment in 1930 of OCBP as well as a chapter on early captaincies before Captain Craig, but the major content documents the eras of each of the three longest-serving OCBP captains: Robert S. Craig, George Schoepf and Butch Arbin (current), covering 90 years of the beach patrol’s history.

Content includes the introduction and use of torpedo buoys for surf rescues; the continuing use of semaphore for communication among lifeguards, especially useful in reuniting lost children and parents; beach patrol programs such as the junior lifeguards, rookie academy, and lifeguard competitions; and highlights of the history of lifesaving by young men and women whose responsibilities far exceed the requirements of summer jobs of other college kids of so young an age.

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