Ocean City Today

Lt. Mike Stone, his niece, Ava Krivosh, and daughter, Abbey Shobe, help in resort

By Kara Hallissey | Sep 07, 2017
Lt. Mike Stone has been a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol for 33 years, which inspired his daughter Abbey Shobe, left, and niece Ava Krivosh, right, to follow in his footsteps this summer.

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

(Sept. 8, 2017) Lt. Mike Stone has been a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol for 33 years, which inspired his daughter Abbey Shobe and niece Ava Krivosh to follow in his footsteps this summer.

“The best part is the people. I work with some of my best friends. They are dedicated and talented people,” Stone said. “Some are family members. My oldest daughter, Brandi [Castaneda,] spent two summers as a surf beach facilitator. [Now, my niece and daughter] are surf rescue technicians. It is a family-type atmosphere and you meet a lot of new people each year.”

Back in the spring of 1984, Stone had just finished up his second year of college at Salisbury State and was bussing tables at Harpoon Hanna’s in Delaware.

“My roommates were older and all had day jobs,” Stone said. “A couple of friends who were on the Ocean City Beach Patrol encouraged me to try out and I did. Somehow, I am still here all these years later.”

Stone, 52, from Waldorf, Maryland, is responsible for payroll, scheduling and assignments, which can be challenging at the beginning and end of the season when lifeguards have tighter obligations.

“I help to establish good groups for the crews that way the people who work for us hopefully have a good summer and it’s such a good experience they want to come back for another summer or more,” Stone said. “My favorite part of the week is after the Monday morning meeting. Everyone meets with their crews, leaves with their assignments and the week is set.”

For the last 12 years, Stone has worked as a school counselor at Pocomoke Middle School. He was also a school counselor at Pocomoke High School for nine years.

Stone could not say enough about the Junior Beach Patrol Academy and the valuable experience each lifeguard receives by participating in the program.

“When I started at 19 years old, there was no Junior Beach Patrol Academy,” Stone said. “For Abbey and Ava to start at 10 years old, gain four or five years of beach and ocean safety experience and then become junior instructors [for the camp] is a life changing experience. I am so proud of Eva. She is starting her senior year and this was her first summer lifeguarding. Not many people have that experience and then go back to high school.”

Krivosh, 17, of Bel Air, Maryland, enjoyed her first summer as an Ocean City surf rescue technician.

“It’s been such a good experience and I had such a good time gaining new friends,” Krivosh said. “My cousin Abbey was an instructor when I started the academy and I looked up to the guards because I was always around. My uncle is a lieutenant and I waited a while to do the camp.”

At 10 years old, Krivosh was finally able to participate in the Junior Beach Patrol Academy. She came back every summer to gain more experience and spent her last two years as an assistant instructor for the camp.

“I have friends on beach patrol who I met as an instructor in the academy,” Krivosh said. “We went through the camp together and are now guards.”

Krivosh loves the beach patrol family atmosphere and helping others.

“The family atmosphere keeps everyone on beach patrol,” Krivosh said. “Everyone is so nice and it is the best thing I’ve ever participated in. Randomly getting thanked by kids and little compliments throughout the day make it a fun experience.”

Shobe, 21, of Pocomoke, was also 10 years old when she decided to participate in the Junior Beach Patrol Academy and spent two years as an assistant instructor for the camp. This summer marks her fifth as an Ocean City lifeguard. Two summers ago, she was an assistant crew chief.

“I saw how happy my stepdad was,” Shobe said. “He always encouraged me to try it and once I did, I never looked back. I’ve worked on the same street every year [50th] and I enjoy seeing my beach families. It is unlike any job I’ve ever had.”

The surf rescue technician enjoys helping people, making a difference and saving lives.

“Beach patrol is a close-knit group with a family and team atmosphere that I enjoy,” Shobe said. “I enjoy coming back each year to work with everyone on my crew and seeing familiar faces on the beach. When you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t seem like work.”

Shobe graduated from Salisbury University in May with Bachelor degrees in accounting and information systems.

Currently, Shobe is studying for the certified public accountant exam and getting ready to start a full-time job at Ernst & Young in Baltimore in the coming weeks.

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