2013-08-15 / Front Page
Ray Licata Memorial Swim to be held Sunday
LONG BRANCH — The ninth annual One-Mile Ocean Swim and Walk-Along, held in memory of local beach advocate Ray Licata, will take place Aug. 18 at Pier Village in Long Branch.
Swimmers and nonswimmers alike are welcome to participate in the Ray Licata Memorial Swim. Families, friends and beachgoers can walk the swim route on the beachfront, as swimmers navigate the one-mile watercourse.
This year’s events will begin at 8 a.m. with registration opening at 6:30 a.m. More than 300 are expected to participate.
The swim and walk-along memorialize the passing of Licata, an avid swimmer who could often be seen collecting trash, providing instruction to young children during their first experiences in the ocean, and occasionally helping with rescue efforts.
Organizers recently presented Long Branch with a new beach utility vehicle for mobilizing lifeguards for water rescues. The vehicle was bought with funds raised by the Ray Licata Memorial Swim.
Proceeds from this year’s community event will be earmarked to support beach safety, as well as the junior lifeguard program.
“It is our hope to give young members of our community, particularly those who do not have the financial resources to enroll in such a program, an opportunity to learn how to promote ocean safety and potentially become a member of the Long Branch lifeguard team,” Glen Rassas, chairman of the event, said in a press release.
Organized by local residents, the swim is co-sponsored by the Long Branch Department of Recreation. Over the past eight years, the swim has raised more than $57,000, which has been used to purchase two certified lifeboats, a portable defibrillator, a Jet Ski, beach rescue equipment and two ATVs that are in use to protect residents and visitors to the Long Branch beachfront.
For more information, visit www.raylicatamemorialswim.com.