Assateague Lifeguards Receive Highest Honor - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Assateague Lifeguards Receive Highest Honor

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Assateague Lifeguards Assateague Lifeguards

ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, Md. - Two separate drownings, on the same day, off the same coast. 

The American Red Cross has honored three Assateague State Park lifeguards for their water rescue efforts and for taking the necessary actions to attempt to save people's lives. The award is the highest Lifesaving award to possibly gain.

Allison Smith has been guarding the coast of Assateague for the past four years. Smith tells WBOC that on Oct. 7, lifeguards recovered two victims that had drowned off the coast of Assateague. 

Assateague officials said they had a total of 80 rescues this season which is three times the amount they usually have.

"It was very surreal, like I said, although we train for the worst every day," Smith said. "Although we train for the worst every day, you just don't think it's going to happen and especially twice in one day." 

Sheldon Dawson and Chloe Goddard have been training alongside Smith. Goddard said it is much different rescuing someone from the ocean as opposed to a pool. 

"In a pool you can see their facial expressions, there's a face people make when they're starting to panic and they can't make it to a wall, you can see their arms and legs. An Ocean, you don't know how deep it is, you don't know if they can stand where they are," Goddard said. 

Regardless Dawson said he is proud of his team for doing everything they could that day. 

"Again, very unfortunate, but there's no change in protocol or your standards of operations. They will be all the same, every single time," Dawson said. 

Dawson said the lifeguards will continue to train each day and prepare for that next call.

Smith tells WBOC,  "That was a huge honor for the three of us to receive, that is greatly appreciated. We definitely took that award for all the first responders," Smith said. 

According to the American Red Cross, they recognize these people for their efforts to sustain someone's life. 


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