WB Ocean Rescue
The Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue squad protects four and a half miles of ocean beach along the barrier island of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The program is certified by the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) as an advanced lifesaving agency and staffs thirteen lifeguard stands from Memorial Day through Labor Day. All ocean rescue lifeguards carry First Responder first aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer certifications, and all Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescuer officers and supervisors are certified as North Carolina Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) as well. Ocean Rescue lifeguards receive over 90 hours of specialized ocean rescue and medical training before the start of every season. The ocean rescue squad averages over 200 open water rescues and 120 medical assists every season. The record number of rescues made by the Wrightsville Beach squad involved 212 victims being pulled from the water in a single day with zero fatalities.
The Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue squad competes annually in the USLA South-Atlantic Regional Championships, racing against other ocean rescue squads from Florida to Virginia. The Wrightsville Beach team has progressively improved every season, going from a 3rd place finish in their “small beach” division (fewer than 50 lifeguards on staff) in 2008 to an unprecedented 1st place finish in 2013, outscoring the “big beach” teams to win not only their division, but the entire tournament. It was the first time in the history of the USLA South-Atlantic Regional Tournament that a small beach team was able to take the overall top score. The Wrightsville Beach team repeated their historic accomplishment in 2014, outscoring all of the big beach and small beach teams, establishing themselves as the leading lifesaving team in the South Atlantic Region. They have won their division at South Atlantic Regionals every year since. In 2014, the team made its first splash at the national championships, winning third place in their division- a feat which they repeated in 2015 and 2016.