Photos courtesy of Anne Copeland Merrill, Ocean City, Florida.

Quinn Cassidy was the first man standing at the recent two-day Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguard test in South Jersey on the American East Coast.

It was a tough 0.6-mile course that normally would take the University of Florida swimming star significantly less time, but conditions were tough.

But this last weekend, Cassidy took a long and frustrating 28 minutes to complete the surf life saving test. Bruckner Chase described how tough the 1 km course was, “Quinn won in 28:00. At 45 minutes, less than a third of the field had finished and the last guy took 1 hour 19 minutes. It is amazing what a 20 mph wind blowing offshore can do to a swimmer once you get beyond the natural break the island provides.”

Cassidy has the DNA to do well in the ocean. His father, Sid Cassidy, is an Ocean City Beach Patrol Hall of Fame inductee who won the South Jersey Lifeguard Championship swim in 1977 and 1978.

The lifeguard event included tests of all the skills a surf life saver should have: an ocean swim, a half-mile run, a short surf dash, and a 150-yard row in the bay as well as an interview that ultimately whittled the competitive field of applicants to 24 men and 3 women. The rookie class of 2015 include Quinn Cassidy, Frank Christy, Matthew Crawford, Tigue Devine, Brad Donohue, Andrew Duff, Joe Furze, Jake Graziotto, Ryan Greer, Ryan King, Patrick Kistler, Derek Kneisel, Christopher Kowal, Madeline McCabe, Brian McGroarty, David Millar, Ryan Mitchell, Tres Ostien, Jared Schiavone, Jason Schiavone, William Stahl, Kyle Stanley, Noel Styer, Shanin Theiss, Brandon Truong, Drew Winkler, and Hannah Wray.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association