Beach Safety – How to Stay Hydrated

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,852
    Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin demonstrates how to be safe at the beach, including how to stay hydrated.

    Butch Arbin

    Butch Arbin was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He Graduated from Parkville Senior High School. While at Parkville, Butch participated in Band, Cross Country, indoor and outdoor track. At the young age of 15, while still attending high school, Butch took and passed the Ocean City Beach Patrol test. This was a turning point in his life as he took residence and began working in Ocean City. Butch Arbin has served the patrol for 35 years. He became Captain in 1997. In the winter months Butch works for Charles County Public Schools as an Aerospace Engineering Instructor at Lackey High School. In addition he works at the central office in Charles County where he coordinates the Gateway to Technology classes, which is part of the Project Lead The Way Program. Butch Arbin has 2 careers and 2 lives that are 65 miles and 4 hours apart. One career back in Charles County with teaching and the other is Captain of the Ocean City Beach Patrol. He leads and supervises over 200 employees dedicated to ocean rescue and maintaining a safe and orderly environment along the 10.5 miles of oceanfront beach. This professional organization is dedicated to making visitors’ stay at the beach as safe and enjoyable as possible through its mission of education, prevention and intervention. This Ocean City Beach Patrol is one of the finest life saving organizations in the world. This Beach Patrol has earned the Outstanding EMS Program Award by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). The award was presented at the State House in Annapolis. The Ocean City Beach Patrol has also been honored as an EMS provider of the year for Maryland. This is an especially meaningful award since the OCBP is not technically an EMS operation and this award has never gone to a non-traditional EMS organization. The Ocean City Beach Patrol has been recognized for their numerous AED saves, many successful prevention and public education programs, and for developing a technique for stabilizing and removing patients from the surf who have suspected spinal cord injuries. This technique was recently accepted as a state standard of care by MIEMSS and with their assistance has developed a video to help train others. The number one priority of the Ocean City Beach Patrol is public education. Safety seminars are presented throughout the year to all types of groups and organizations not only in Ocean City but throughout the mid-Atlantic area. One note worthy activity that sets the Ocean City Beach Patrol apart from other beach patrols around the world are the weekly beach safety seminars that are held at many locations every Sunday on the beach for newly arriving visitors. Each summer the Beach Patrol conducts a Junior Beach Patrol program for youth 10-16 years old and allows participants to move through various levels as they return each year. Butch Arbin feels fortunate to have the opportunity to lead such a fine organization and work with the best surf rescue professionals in the field of water safety.

    Butch Arbin: Hi! I am Captain Butch Arbin with the Ocean City, Maryland, Beach Patrol. We are talking about how to have a safe and enjoyable day at the beach. This clip is about water and your need to drink plenty of it while at the beach. When you have a day at the beach, you need to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. Thrust is not a good indication of the body s need for water or hydration. If you are waiting to your thrust, that is already a sign that your body is becoming dehydrated. When you go to the beach, you need to make sure you bring plenty of water, keep it cold and make sure you drink plenty of it. Make sure people in your party take breaks from what they are doing and drink water, especially small children may not want to stop playing and drink water, you need to make water breaks party of your day.

    Other drinks that are flavored may taste really good; however, the problem is that they are not absorbed in the body as quick as plain cold water, so plain cold water is the fastest thing, the fastest acting that you can put in your body. Two things you want to avoid are caffeinated beverages and alcohol. Both of these products increase the body s rate of dehydration and instead of helping the body remain hydrated, they lead to dehydration. So, alcohol and caffeinated beverages need to be avoided.

    Whey your day at the beach and you start seeing some signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, you need to be aware what they are and seek the proper care or medical attention. The first problem is with heat-related injuries are heat cramps and heat exhaustion. In both cases, you may know the person is becoming weak and dizzy, they may be white pale, they may be cold to touch, clammy, and they just have a general nausea feeling about them. These are sings of heat exhaustion. If you see these signs, you need to get this person out of heat as soon as possible into a cool area and have them sip water. If you do not see improvement rapidly, you need to seek medical attention.

    A far more serious problem is heatstroke. In the case of heatstroke, it s when the sweating mechanism of the body is completely shut down. The body no longer can cool itself. It does not sweat. Internal body temperatures rise above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The body literally starts to bake. Most people with heatstroke end up dying, even though they may be conscious and talking to you when you first recognize the symptoms. If these occur, these people need to be cooled quickly. You need to be call #911 for immediate medical attention. The signs are they are bright red and hot to the touch and often are semiconscious and disoriented. These are the signs of heatstroke, which is a life-threatening emergency.

    Again you need to remember, bring plenty of cold water with you to the beach, make sure you drink plenty of it, force everyone else in your party to drink water often and if you do that, you will have a safe and enjoyable day at the beach.

    Our next clip talks about the use of an umbrella and how to properly install it into the beach.