Cape May, NJ

Cape May Names First Female Lieutenant Beach Patrol

John Cooke

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Sara Werner Competes in the Cape May Point Women’s Life Guard challenge.Provided Cape May City

CAPE MAY, NJ – Cape May City announced today the promotion of Sara Werner to Lieutenant of the Cape May Beach Patrol. Pulling on her 18 years of experience with Cape May’s Beach Patrol, Sara Werner represents a new chapter in a City and Beach Patrol steeped in history and tradition. She will take her place on the beaches this year as the first female Lieutenant.

In 2020 there were 26 female lifeguards on the beach patrol, but none in a leadership position.

Sara Werner joins the administration along with the new Superintendent of Beaches, Chief Harry Back and new Captain, Marty Franco. “Sara’s growth over the years is highlighted by her outstanding ability to communicate across the spectrum of humanity. Earning her the respect of everyone”, said Chief Harry Back Jr.

Sara plans to promote a culture filled with transparency, inclusion, and trust. “I look forward to taking on this leadership role in honor of the incredible women who came before me and those who come next”, said Werner.

“Lieutenant Sara Werner’s enthusiasm, kindness, compassion, and zest for life is contagious.  Sara is one of the nicest, hardest working people I know.  She loves Cape May, she loves being on the water, and she cares about the safety of our residents and visitors." Cape May City Mayor Zack Mullock said 

"I could not be happier with the selection of Sara Werner. She will be a shining light for what is the best Beach Patrol in the country for years to come. To rise to the top of this group is no small feat.  Superintendent (Chief) Harry Back is putting together a great team of professionals.  My congratulations to both Captain Franco & Lieutenant Werner,” Cape May City Mayor Zack Mullock continued in support.

On any given summer day there can be as many as 56 lifeguards on duty. The dynamics of ages range from 16 to 60-year-old lifeguards.

"Cape May has a perfect record, meaning no fatalities while the beach patrol is on duty," Harry Back Jr. said. "As we develop our staff we hope to continue that great history."

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Always passionate about Cape May, John Cooke has been a full-time resident since 2004. And he’s no stranger to the sunrises here. You’ll often see him downtown loading his camera with pictures of sunrises, landscapes, and Cape May visitors. John is a regular contributor to the Cape May Star and Wave and his work has also been published in Cape May Magazine and Exit Zero Magazine. He is also heard regularly on the “Locals of Cape May” a weekly talk radio show on WCFA-LP FM 101.5. While serving as President of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May from 2010 to 2013, he helped facilitate multiple city-wide events including Harborfest, which attracted over 10,000 people to Cape May. An unofficial ambassador for all things Cape May, John now regularly blogs at (THE COOKE REPORT) AKA cookecapemay.Com, actively tweets from @cookecapemay and has an avid Instagram following by the same name. His more than 6000 followers earned him the right to be one of 17 people to watch in South Jersey in 2017 by the Press of Atlantic City.

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