When I asked the Stone Harbor Beach Patrol for their finest recommendation for lifeguard of the week, the captain quickly informed me that Emily McVan would be his top choice. Now in her fifth season on the SHBP, 20 year-old Emily has achieved the status of permanent guard on 103rd Street Beach. Originally from Haverford, PA, she has vacationed on the Cape May County shores for as long as she can remember. “I’ve grown up on the beach. It’s my favorite environment,” states Emily. Her passion for the sands and sea is what initially inspired her to join the beach patrol.
She loves her job as a lifesaver and the fact that it encourages her to push herself and to stay in shape. In fact, Emily’s most memorable lifeguarding experiences have been her three races in the Women’s Lifeguard Challenge at Cape May Point. In the Challenge, top female lifeguard competitors from the Mid-Atlantic Region partake in a 1.2 mile run, 3/4 mile paddle, and 1/2 mile swim in a unique shortened form of a lifeguard’s Triathlon. While Emily admits that the three competitions were each quite challenging, she found them rewarding and ultimately enjoyable.
While the Stone Harbor Beach remains extremely safe with minimal required rescues, Emily has had to make a major save in her career. During lifeguard drills, a young girl found herself trapped in a rip current and being pulled further and further away from the shore. Emily swam out to the girl and pulled her from the current while a fellow guard placed her on a paddleboard and swam her safely to shore. The lives of 103rd Street beachgoers are most definitely safe in the hands of permanent guard Emily McVan and her fellow well-trained Stone Harbor guards.
When she’s not spending her days on the stand or representing Stone Harbor in the Women’s Lifeguard Races in Longport and the Challenge at Cape May Point, Emily likes to spend her down time taking a stroll on the beach with her dog. She loves the beach ambiance even more after hours as it quiets down and she’s off the clock. During the summer season Emily resides in North Wildwood, but in the off-season she returns to her hometown in Pennsylvania where she studies biology as a full time student at Delaware County Community College. One thing you may not know about lifeguard Emily McVan? She has vacationed in Australia, making her worldly beach experience even more extensive.
By Megan Kummer