(Aug. 30, 2019) Rick Krause returned to the Ocean City Beach Patrol this summer after an 18-year hiatus.
Krause, 43, is a full-time resource officer for Bel Air High School in Maryland, but said he has always had a passion for the beach, which is why he was inspired to take the test and try out for the patrol this year.
“I’ve got my police career, I’ve got my army career, which were awesome things and I love it, but deep down my passion is Ocean City Beach Patrol,” Krause said.
Krause first joined the Ocean City Beach Patrol in 1993 and served for two years before he went into the army.
In 2000, he returned for a full year position. The following year, he stayed on as a part-time employee. In 2002, he went into the police academy and of his 15 years on the force, he has spent the last 10 at Bel Air High School.
Krause received special permission from his police chief, Chuck Moore, and saved up all his vacation hours in order to work the seven to eight weeks of summer this year.
Krause will continue to serve the beach patrol on the weekends until after Sunfest this year, which ends Sept. 22.
“This year’s been pretty good,” Krause said. “I had four rescues and three neck/back injuries and one concussion. I enjoy being around the kids. It brings a new perspective, being 43 as opposed to in my 20s.”
This year is extra special for Krause, because he was assigned to crew 15 with two of his former students from Bel Air High School.
Krause runs a program at the school called Explorers, which he said is like a scout program for the police.
Adam Keh and George Schreiner were Bel Air High School seniors last year and part of Krause’s police program. They were encouraged by him to join the beach patrol.
During one of his first shifts on the beach, Krause relieved Schreiner for his 30-minute lunch break. The same would happen with Keh a few days later. The three became very close during the summer.
“Being with them, I was just over the moon and they were excited,” Krause said. “They jokingly call me dad because I’m as old as their parents.”
Keh and Schreiner were just as happy to work their second summer with Krause in their crew.
“It was a little intimidating at first, because I thought, ‘Oh god, he’s going to yell at me for something,’ but it was super fun,” Schreiner said. “It was the best summer we had so far and there will be more to come. He basically made us who we are today.”
“There’s so many people that try out and it’s mostly young people, but the fact that he can do it at his age and still beat me at every event is just crazy,” Keh said. “He beat me in the swim and he’s faster than me. It’s insane. The person that I’ve mentored under is here on the beach doing exactly what I do. He’d literally do anything for me and George and I couldn’t ask for a better person to be mentored by.”
Keh is on a partial ROTC scholarship to Shippensburg University, in Pennsylvania, and will join the military police once he graduates.
Schreiner is a student at Towson University majoring in elementary education.
All three men have expressed their desire to return to the beach patrol.
Krause’s family is also in on the excitement, with his son and daughter participating in the Junior Beach Patrol Academy over the summer. They plan to join the patrol as well.
“My son’s going to go on to the Marines at the end of the year and my daughter has talked to one of my crew mates, Sam [Bingaman], to inspire her to become a female lifeguard and that will be in three more years,” Krause said.
Krause said that he plans to work for beach patrol “until I can’t get out of bed anymore.”
“I plan to be here until I’m 68-70 years old and maybe even then I’ll keep going,” Krause said. “I made a choice to go away from it thinking I had no other options, but then [Keh and Schreiner] started talking about it and I said, ‘No, don’t ever let this go … it’s the best thing you could ever do.’”