Beach rescue operations in Cape May began officially around 1845, when rescue ropes were hung on bathing houses.  Later on, whaleboats “manned with stout hearts and ready hands” were stationed off the beaches for the summer season.  By 1865 the larger hotels hired crews to man surfboats during bathing hours.  Rivalries developed between these crews, and lifeboat races were often held to entertain seasonal guests.

In 1911, the City of Cape May hired its first paid, professional lifeguards to protect bathers under the direction of Captain Tom Keenan.  Throughout the years the personnel, uniforms and equipment have changed, but the objectives and purpose has remained the same: to provide Cape May’s beach patrons with the highest degree of professional lifeguard services.

Current Administration

Chief Harry “Buzzy” Mogck
Captain Geoff Rife
Lieutenant Terry Randolph
Lieutenant Tom Wyatt
Lieutenant Bill Keller
Lieutenant Pete Pietras
Lieutenant Kyle Donohue

Former Captains

1911-1919 Tom Keenan

1920-1923 George Little

1924 Mike Marshal

1925-1929 Lindell Ashburn

1929-1930 Rutherford Baker

1931-1933 Dudley Briant

1934-1941 Bud McAdams

1942- 1943 Sol Needles

1944 Ed Woman

1945-1946 Fred Piacentine

1947 Rutherford Baker

1948-1980 Clete Cannone

1980 Jack Schellenger and Ron Owens

1981 – Present Harry “Buzz” Mogck

Former Lieutenants
Lindell Asburn, Powell Hughes, Nickey Nelson, Joe Haggerty Sr., Norm Brown, Louis Elwell Sr., Norm Bowen, Ed Homan, Fred Piacentine, Pete Franisconi, Chick Hawkins, Joe Sharp, Harry Gilbert, Harold Cannone, Arnold Cannone, Jack Schellenger, Ron Owens, George Wallace, Eric Fussell, Ralph Atwell, Chuck Patterson, Sam Downes, Bill Oat, Harry Back