NORTH WILDWOOD — Fifty years ago, the North Wildwood Beach Patrol first held a lifeguard race to honor Jim Beschen and Mike Callahan, two of its former lifeguards who were killed during separate incidents in the Vietnam War while in the armed services.
On Saturday, the beach patrol further cemented the pair’s legacy by dedicating a boat to the two fallen heroes.
With members of the extended Beschen and Callahan families, as well as representatives from the City of North Wildwood and other area beach patrols, in attendance, the North Wildwood Beach Patrol proudly displayed the new boat to the public for the first time. NWBP chief Tony Cavalier hosted the short ceremony.
After Cavalier said a few words, members of the Beschen and Callahan families used seawater to officially christen the new boat.
This year’s Beschen-Callahan Memorial Lifeguard Championships are scheduled for Friday, July 13. The event is third-oldest lifeguard competition in South Jersey behind the South Jersey Championships and the Margate War Memorial Races.
— Brian Cunniff