By Grace Galbreath
AVALON – Say hello to our next lifeguard of the week, Avalon Beach Patrol veteran Conall Sweeney. Born and raised in Lower Gwynedd, PA, Conall is a recent business management graduate from The University of Saint Andrews.
Conall first began lifeguarding during the summer of 2020, and this year he will be celebrating his fourth summer with the Avalon Beach Patrol. He said, “I have been coming down here all my life, but not really for the whole summer until 2020. I started lifeguarding during the COVID-19 summer.”
Conall has collected a lot of standout memories with the patrol in his tenure. H fondly recalled his first summer with the Avalon Beach Patrol, when he made a rescue off the clock just three days into his new job.
He said, “I went to the beach at the Sea Isle inlet and ended up having to save some people under the bridge. It was my first day off, which was kind of funny.”
Conall’s favorite part of the job is the people that he gets to work with every day. They are the reason he has returned for a fourth summer with the patrol. He said, “It’s the best job in the world. The camaraderie in the patrol is great, and you get to sit on the beach every day and paddleboard, swim and run.”
When asked about his favorite spots on the island, Conall did not hesitate. “Anywhere that gives a lifeguard discount,” he said. He also cited two Avalon classics, Kohler’s Bakery and The Fishin’ Pier Grille, as his favorite businesses on the island.
Although he has yet to participate in any beach patrol competitions this summer, Conall is hoping to compete in at least one before the season ends. He mentioned that he hopes to enter North Wildwood’s “Around the Island” row, a morning rowboat competition that begins at North Wildwood’s Inlet Beach and ends on 15th Avenue.
Despite spending many hot days at the beach, he can be found by the ocean even on his days off. If he is not on the stand, you can find him in the sand! He is often found building gigantic sandcastles and digging the largest holes on Seven-Mile Island. Don’t worry – he always fills them in and packs them down.
Stop by the Avalon beaches this summer to say hello to Conall! If he is not working, you can find him on the beach perfecting his island-famous sandcastles.