Storms arrive as lifeguard staff shrinks

    For a second weekend in a row, Delaware lifeguards are bracing to see what kind of waves and currents might come with storms in the Atlantic.

    For a second weekend in a row, Delaware lifeguards are bracing to see what kind of water dangers might come with storms in the Atlantic.

    The heightened alert on beach safety comes at a time when half of Rehoboth’s 55 lifeguards have left their stands and returned to school.

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    “It’s something we have to plan for every year,” Captain Ken Buckson with the Rehoboth Beach Patrol said.

    Last weekend lifeguards were so concerned about shore breaks with hurricane Bill that they closed the beach to swimmers on Saturday and didn’t give the all clear until Sunday afternoon.

    And banning swimming again this weekend is a real possibility with tropical storm Danny churning in the Atlantic.

    “We’re trained lifeguards, we can go out and save someone (in a rip current) rather quickly as long as they’re swimming near a lifeguard,” Buckson said.  “But the shore breaks, we can’t help them once they’re slammed on the beach and their body is broken. We just have to take them to the hospital.  So we have to prevent that by keeping them out of the water.”

    Buckson says he’ll wait until Saturday morning to make a decision on whether to allow swimming this weekend.

    Rehoboth Beach Patrol

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