Lifeguard of the Week

This week’s outstanding lifesaver hails from the Wildwood Beach Patrol. When asked for his recommendation, WBP Captain Steve Stocks did not hesitate to inform me that his first choice would most definitely be Tim Strybuc. Tim has been a member of the patrol since the summer of 2006 and has certainly made his mark.

I arrived at WBP Headquarters ready to go and was greeted by Lieutenant Chris Cancelliere. He invited me to hop into the Beach Patrol truck and take a ride with him down to Tim’s stand. “Tim is very unassuming,” Lieutenant Cancelliere assured me. “He does everything he’s supposed to do without being asked to at all. We always say, ‘Oh, if Tim’s down there, we’re good’”.

After once again hearing his praises, it was time to meet Tim Strybuc. He jumped down from his Roberts Avenue stand, his permanent station since the summer of 2007, and I learned more about this charismatic lifeguard of the week.

Originally from Philadelphia, Tim attended Father Judge High School where he was a member of the varsity crew team. It was here that he first discovered the prospect of a Wildwood Beach Patrol career. “A lot of past alumnae came down to Wildwood for the summers and were guards on the beach patrol,” explained Tim. WBP Lieutenant Steve McGuinn works as a men’s crew coach in the Philadelphia area and approached Tim before the 2006 summer season, encouraging him to join the patrol. Tim did not resist and has not looked back since.

Tim’s high school athletic career has enabled him to shine as a WBP representative. In the 2011 Dutch Hoffman Memorial Lifeguard Championships, Tim experienced a career highlight, winning the doubles rowing event with his partner.

He assures me that his favorite part about his lifeguarding job is “definitely the camaraderie. It’s like a team down here. Every one works together, and we all get along.” Even after hours, the Wildwood Beach Patrol is a tight-knit crew. “After work, all the guards usually hang out together,” Tim tells me.

But he is also familiar with the seriousness of his lifeguarding role and its potential life-or-death nature. In the summer of 2008, Tim was involved in an after hours situation in which he and fellow guards had to perform a “Code X” operation, sweeping the ocean floor for victims who had drowned when WBP guards were off the clock.

Tim explained exactly how the Wildwood Beach Patrol ensures that all members remain fit and able to respond to such crucial incidents. “We have two workouts per day, one in the morning for two hours and an hour in the afternoon. The Beach Patrol has three zones – North, Central, and South – and each zone has a set workout plan, from running and swimming to rowing and the paddle board. The lieutenants make up the workouts and make sure everything gets done.”

When off the clock, Tim likes to indulge in some classic relaxation. “As soon as I’m done work, I like to sleep,” he jokes. Having graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a Marketing degree two years ago, he plans to return to school this coming spring to receive his Master’s Degree in Marketing. But the seven-year WBP veteran and valued guard Tim Strybuc will be keeping beachgoers safe at his Roberts Avenue station through September.

By Megan Kummer