Ocean City Today

Beach patrol connects couples, friends in OC

During season, Clousers, Wyatt and Kushner all live, work together as lifeguards
By Kara Hallissey | Jun 29, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Jonathan and Emmanuelle Clouser met on the Ocean City Beach Patrol during the summer of 2010 and started dating the following summer. They were married in July of 2014.

This story is part of an ongoing summer series featuring Ocean City Beach Patrol members and their other jobs.

(June 30, 2017) Zach Wyatt and Amy Kushner have been living with fellow Ocean City Beach Patrol members Emmanuelle and Jonathan Clouser in the resort for the last couple of summers.

“I love it and the people [who he works with on the Beach Patrol.] Everyone here is awesome,” Wyatt said. “The Clousers are great roommates and best friends. I love being on the same summer schedule as Amy. We are happier at the beach and get to spend more time together. Living the dream every day.”

Wyatt, 27, has been coming down to Ocean City all his life and thought working on the Beach Patrol would be a good job to have while he was getting his teaching degree at Frostburg State University. Now, the Parkville, Maryland, native is a middle school physical education teacher.

This will be his fourth summer on the Ocean City Beach Patrol and the surf rescue technician loves being paid to work out on the beach.

A couple of his teachers spent time on the Ocean City Beach Patrol and he met Kushner, 24, during the summer of 2015.

“We met by sitting next to each other in the same crew,” Wyatt said.

Last summer, the couple got engaged and they will be married in September 2018.

“A friend wanted to try out and I decided to do it with her,” Kushner said. “I didn’t know what it was about and had never swam in the ocean before. I thought I’d do it for one year and I met this kid and here we are.”

Kushner, from Buffalo, New York, will guard the Ocean City shores for her third summer and loves working by the ocean every day.

“Beach Patrol makes you challenge and push yourself,” Kushner said. “You are around good people and a support system. It is a good lifestyle where you are happy, healthy and working out. You make long-lasting friendships and get to travel and go see them. There are a lot of opportunities. You also meet good families.”

Kushner is pursuing a teaching degree in early childhood special education at Towson University and plans to graduate in 2019.

Crew chief Jonathan Clouser, 35, will spend his 14th summer on the Ocean City Beach Patrol this year. For the past 10 years, he has been teaching physical education to high school students in Reading, Pennsylvania.

“One of my buddies from home came down and said, ‘You got to come to Ocean City; we had so much fun,’” Clouser said. “I went to the job fair and got a pamphlet from the Beach Patrol. I saw they paid well, had great hours and I knew I had to try out.”

Initially, Clouser failed the swimming portion of the Ocean City Beach Patrol test, but passed the second time.

“It is important to know you can try as many times as you want until you pass,” Clouser said. “In college, I had a teaching major so I kept coming back and here I am 14 summers later, when I thought I’d do it for one summer. I keep coming back because I am invested in it. You can’t beat it between the family atmosphere and summers here.”

Clouser met his wife, Emmanuelle, 27, during the summer of 2010 when he was promoted to crew chief and they were assigned to crews next to one another. They started dating the following summer.

“She came down on a J-1 student visa,” Clouser said. “We got engaged in July of 2014 and were married the next day in my parents’ backyard.”

In September 2016, the Clousers had a larger wedding celebration in Vermont.

Crew chief Emmanuelle Clouser, who is from Canada, has been a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol for nine summers.

“It is the best job in the world,” Clouser said. “We have made lasting friendships, like Amy and Zach, and we live together now. It is more than just a job. I’ve thought about doing other things, but you can’t beat it.”

Clouser was a lifeguard on a lake in Canada during the summertime and she swam in college.

She took a lifeguarding class in Costa Rica, where the person running the program happened to be a crew chief on Ocean City’s Beach Patrol. He wrote a recommendation for her.

“I was wait-listed at the time, passed the test in 2009 when I was 19 and kept coming back,” Clouser said. “I love building a crew and watching them grow. It is great helping people on your beach and on your crew grow as individuals.”

During the offseason, Clouser is a nanny and teaches yoga.

“I love making a difference with my crew by teaching and helping them become better people,” Jonathan Clouser said. “Teaching the public as well by educating them and helping them prevent [the need for a rescue] from happening again. It is a great organization.”

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