From Atlantic Beach Ocean Rescue Capt. John Phillips
Rookie of the Year
The Rookie of the Year award is given to the first-year guard who stood out from their peers and went above and beyond what was asked of them during their first year at Atlantic Beach Ocean Rescue. This award is given to only one person annually and this year Mr. Andrew Dalton deservingly received it. Mr. Dalton was not only an essential asset to the 2021 rookie class, but to the agency as a whole. Mr. Dalton was always there to lend a hand to anyone in need, spend time studying with his peers one-on-one to help them succeed, lead physical training, and compete on the competition team. Mr. Dalton’s assets of leadership, discipline, and a positive mindset not only benefit him and his success, but the success to all around him. Therefore, I am extremely proud to present Mr. Dalton as the 2021 Rookie of the Year!
Guard of the Year
The Guard of the Year award is given to the Atlantic Beach Ocean Rescue employee who is continuously working for the betterment of themselves as a lifeguard and the betterment of this agency. This peer-selected award represents someone who embodies professionalism, encouragement of their coworkers, and dedication on a daily basis. This year Ms. Molly McCarthy was awarded Guard of the Year by her peers. Ms. McCarthy is an extremely dedicated employee who is always asking how she can help and is constantly striving to be the best version of herself as a lifeguard. Ms. McCarthy is a role model to all employees by always holding herself and fellow lifeguards to the highest standard. Ms. McCarthy showed her dedication this summer when saving a young boy when he was swept out in a rip current, and because of this was also awarded Rescue of the Year. With this said, it is my pleasure to announce Ms. Molly McCarthy the 2021 Guard of the Year!
Lifeguard competitions are a huge part of being a lifeguard. Throughout the summer the lifeguards are constantly working out to keep their lifeguarding skills sharp as they must be in excellent physical shape and ready to perform a rescue at any given moment. Our lifeguards knew that if they wanted to compete against the best lifeguards on the east coast that they needed to train twice as hard, and that is exactly what they did. They met in the mornings before work, during their lunchbreaks and then again after work to refine their skills in running, swimming, paddling and surf skiing. This hard work paid off as this was ABOR’s best year in competitions ever. It all started in June when ABOR held it’s first inhouse competition titled “Battle for the Tower”, where all of the lifeguards divided into 5 different groups that competed against each other in 6 events such as the “The Landline” and “Beach Flags”. This was a huge team building exercise that got everyone pumped up and ready to take on other teams from the state of Florida at the 26th Annual Jax Beach Challenge, where they placed 4th out of 12 teams. They missed 3rd place and getting on the podium by only 0.5 point. From there, the ABOR Competition Team competed at the South Atlantic Lifesaving Association’s regional lifeguard tournament, a 2-day event that looked like a mini-Olympics. They went head-to-head against teams from Virginia Beach to Duval County and not only took first place in the small beach division, but also scored more points than anyone in the big beach division.
Congratulations to all of the members of ABOR, those who competed and those who worked the beach to allow their fellow guards to compete.