Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The best practices of the best ocean swimming coaches are difficult for newcomers to understand, but easy for an experienced veteran to appreciate.

We asked lifeguard and waterman Bruckner Chase of the Ocean City Swim Club how he designs his practices and safety net during his open ocean workouts on the South Jersey shore along the Eastern Seaboard.

We run our 1-hour sessions around a 350-meter triangular course set up just beyond the shore break which can be 50 – 100 meters out from shore. Coverage is performed by 2 to 3 paid lifeguards on paddleboards in the triangle with one lifeguard positioned at the entrance/exit point.

We have another 1 or 2 guards stationed in waist-deep water with rescue cans for what we call “Fish Out” assists. All are professional and certified ocean lifeguards.


Chase serves as the final set of eyes on the swimmers as he is positioned on the beach with his wife and an assistant handling check in and out of the water to cover the usual 40 to 70 swimmers.

The board versus shore break coverage numbers get adjusted based on the conditions. And we swim in front of the Longport Beach Patrol Headquarters where I have worked training their rookies and veterans over the years.

Coverage indeed.

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