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Sandy Point State Park Lifeguards Win Maryland Park Service Lifeguard Competition

Lifeguards at a marker during the competition

Deep Creek Lake, Md. (August 25, 2011) — More than 40 Maryland State Park lifeguards from across the state vied for top honors in the 2011 Maryland Park Service Lifeguard Competition at Deep Creek Lake State Park. The team from Sandy Point State Park won first place this season, with last year’s champions from Assateague State Park coming in second. Guards from Cunningham Falls State Park were awarded third place.

“We are so grateful to have such a dedicated and talented group of lifeguards,” said Nita Settina, Superintendent of the Maryland Park Service. “The competition is a great way to showcase the skills that these young people utilize everyday in protecting the safety of our visitors.”

Challenges included a 300-yard swim, beach flags, a rescue race, the “Iron Guard” relay and the “Ultimate Challenge” obstacle course. Lifeguards representing Assateague, Sandy Point, Greenbrier, Cunningham Falls, Point Lookout, Gunpowder Falls, Deep Creek Lake, New Germany, and Herrington Manor State Parks participated in the event.

Individual prizes were also awarded to the first, second, and third place winners for each event. Colin Heil of Sandy Point State Park and Lindsay Buckman of Assateague State Park were awarded top male and top female competitors overall.

The event also featured activities for children, including appearances by Smokey Bear and PFD Panda, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ water safety mascot.

The competition received generous support from a number of businesses, organizations, and volunteers, including The Wisp Resort, High Mountain Sports, Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, Adventure Sports Center International, Canoe on the Run, Garrett 8 Cinemas, Lakeside Creamery, Archie’s Barbeque, Marine Rescue Products, Western Garrett County State Park Volunteers, Friends of New Germany State Park, Friends of Rocky Gap State Park, Friends of Greenbrier State Park, Friends of Cunningham Falls State Park, Lang King, Northern Garrett Rescue Squad, Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Department, and Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Maryland’s State Parks not only provide great outdoor recreation for Marylanders and visitors, they are also a great asset to State and local economies. According to a recent study, conducted in partnership with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, Maryland State Parks have an estimated annual economic benefit of more than $650 million. In 2010, visitors directly spent more than $567 million locally — $25.56 locally for every dollar the State invests in State Parks —during their visits. And almost 95 percent of visitors had their expectations met or exceeded during visits.


   August 25, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov