Wildwood lifeguards show some special students how to have a great day at the beach

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Sunday, July 22, 2018
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Wildwood lifeguards show some special students how to have a great day at the beach. Monica Malpass reports during Action News at 6 a.m. on July 22, 2018.

WILDWOOD, N.J. (WPVI) -- A typical day for a lifeguard in Wildwood consists of enforcing the swimming rules and keeping beach-goers safe.

But recently, lifeguards got a chance to show some special students how to have a little fun at the shore.

It was a day at the beach for the organization 21 Down -- a Cape May Atlantic County support group for families with kids with down syndrome.

"This day was set up by Billy Auty the lifeguard, he approached us ten years ago and said I want to put a beach day together with your families for you all to come and hang out," says parent Pam Ginet.

"The beach service comes down early in the morning and provides that service, gives us all the umbrellas and beach chairs all the water and the food is donated," says Billy Auty.

The day grew from just four families, to 45 families, enjoying activities on the beach and in the ocean while being safely guided by the Wildwood lifeguards.

"We take the kids and adults out into the ocean, we just try and give them experience and try and give them a carefree environment for the adults, for the parents," says Auty.

"They might be afraid of the water, or they're not comfortable in the sand. So the guards just approach them, so when they're comfortable they can go in at their own pace, and they really help accomodate so they have a successful day," Ginet says.

"This is my fifth summer doing it, and last summer I wasn't on the schedule to work, and I made sure I was off everything so I could be here," says lifeguard Myra Mccann.

"The smiles -- you have to get the smiles of the kids. They're just surfing and really enjoying themselves, and that's what it's all about," Ginet says.


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