ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Wednesday July 20, at 7:30 pm the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society talk by veteran ocean lifeguard Michael (Skip) Fowler will explore  the exciting history of the US Life Saving Service in New Jersey.  It is a tale of a desperate victims, valiant rescuers, and a proud profession. 
         
        The hot summer months see vacationers and locals alike flocking to the Jersey Shore for a day at the beach.  On days when the surf challenges even the best of swimmers, New Jersey lifeguards pit their skill, training and fitness against the Atlantic Ocean.  They safely bring back those who venture too far or are swept to sea by the rough surf.  
         
        The real story begins  not with modern lifeguarding, but over 200 years ago with lighthouses and the Life-Saving Service.  The early warning devices were little help during vicious winter storms, as evidenced by the 5,000  shipwrecks off the New Jersey Coast.  Thousands of mariners were rescued after the United States Life Saving Service was organized in 1849.
         
        The intriguing story of ocean rescue will be told by author Michael Fowler, veteran lifeguard, photographer, and local historian. Based on the recently released book Lifeguards of the Jersey Shore, the program traces the development of lifeguarding and ocean rescue in New Jersey.  Interesting and archival photos complement the program. After his talk, Mr. Fowler will sell and sign copies of his book. 
         
         Mr. Fowler, Professor of Marketing at Brookdale Community College has been ocean lifeguarding every summer since 1964, and is presently Lifeguard Supervisor for Monmouth County Park System.  His articles have been published by American Lifeguard magazine and others.  Professor Fowler is also a charter member of the United States Lifesaving Association. 
         
        The talk will be at the Atlantic Highlands Senior Center at First Avenue and the Harbor in Atlantic Highlands.  It is open to the public and admission is free, but a donation is welcome.  Light refreshments will be served.