So how did a Rehoboth Beach (DE) Lifeguard stand wash up on the beach in Salvo?

The chair showed up Labor Day down in Salvo, a bit worse for the wear, but still intact and it appears as though it could still be used. That’s certainly not something you see everyday, so it begs the question, “How did it get there?”

The journey starts in early July when someone—or some group of someones—threw seven Rehoboth Beach lifeguard stands into the Atlantic Ocean. We’re guessing group of someones because the chairs weigh 500 pounds and stand 10’ tall.

Over the next few weeks, six of them showed up along the Delmarva Peninsula between Ocean City and Assateague; the seventh, however, was nowhere to be seen . . . until Monday when it showed up 275 miles south of it’s home.

The scenario for the chair to float south is not as big a mystery as it may appear according to some experts we asked. 

Although the dominant Atlantic Ocean current in the summer is the north flowing Gulf Stream, nearshore currents are more influenced by the outflow from some of the larger bays. Rehoboth Beach, which is very close to the mouth of the Delaware Bay, has a south flowing nearshore current.

If the chair never got too far out to sea, avoiding the Gulf Stream, it would probably have floated south until it was picked up by the outflow from the Chesapeake Bay.

Interesting, and a great lesson about the forces of nature.

Although it’s fun to write about and it’s gotten a good chuckle from everyone who has heard about the floating lifeguard stand, it should be remembered that this started as a prank that really wasn’t very funny. Lifeguards need to see what’s happening and this could have endangered people’s lives.