WILMINGTON, North Carolina — Tens of thousands of swimming pools, parks and beaches across the country have remained closed all summer due to a shortage of lifeguards. In Wrightsville Beach, lifeguard camps aim each year to prepare the next generation for this task.


What do you want to know

  • A nationwide shortage of lifeguards has left a third of swimming pools closed this summer
  • The Jeremy Owens Junior Lifeguard Camp is dedicated to Jeremy Owens Junior, who passed away in November 2020. He is remembered for his dedication to teaching children about ocean safety in a fun way.
  • Junior lifeguards learn five main things: dangerous sea life, skin cancer awareness, cervical spine, CPR and major bleeding

The Jeremy Owens Junior Lifeguard Camp, based on community outreach and beach safety, teaches youth ages 9-17 how to become lifeguards.

“The ocean can be a dangerous place, as we all know. Super important for kids just to feel a bit more comfortable but also know their limits and know when it’s time to break those limits and how to operate within them in a safe and organized way,” Rett Nabell, a says Lieutenant of Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue.

Safety is important to the lifeguards of the Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue team. Many of them, including Nabell, are part-time firefighters protecting the community.

The camp emphasizes safety awareness for children and others on the beach.

“We just teach them to be responsible for themselves, to own the beach,” Nabell said.

During camp, children gain hands-on experience where they must use teamwork, communication, and the skills they have learned to navigate scenarios played out by lifeguards.

It’s important to give kids the confidence to swim in the ocean, to help rescue people, and to be brave in dangerous situations, and when they get their whistle and assignment, it makes it all work and hard. workout of the week is worth it.

This annual camp is dedicated to Jeremy Owens Junior, who passed away in November 2020. He is remembered for his dedication to teaching children about sea safety in a fun way.