Surf City Ocean Rescue is a division of the fire department and responds to beach, ocean, and waterway emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. Whether it's a swimmer in distress or boating issues, our Ocean Rescue team responds to your call for help!
Although this team is a reactionary responding agency, they do take some proactive measures by having trained personnel on the beach strand and on standby during our peak season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. There is at least one certified swimmer on standby from 9am-7pm daily during these months and when the tide allows, the team monitors and patrols the beach on their ocean rescue ATV. Different from lifeguards, this team is not stationary and patrols the beach to shorten response time when calls come in.
While the volume of emergency calls increases during our summer months, our Ocean Rescue Team works year-round to prevent water-related tragedies and receives calls to the water in winter months just as they do in summer months. No matter the time of year, there is staff presence at all external event opportunities such as the Dolphin Dip (New Year's Day), summer camps, and Ocean Fest (Fall) in an effort to prevent, educate, and respond. There is an ongoing effort to expand education and training opportunities for the public through such things as CPR classes, educational booths at local events, and social media outreach.
Training is conducted in the classroom as well as practical exercises to build physical endurance and application year-round to maintain skills and readiness. We are proud to be the only team in North Carolina that is certified as an aquatic response rescue team with the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA)! Our team is required to meet national standards ongoing as a certified team!