It's All Clear: Ocean Is Unlocked for the Season
In a century-old tradition, Ocean City officials unlock the ocean on Memorial Day Weekend.
Mariners, fishermen and surfers worldwide have been waiting for this moment all spring: Ocean City finally unlocked the Atlantic Ocean at noon Friday.
The Jersey Shore resort town holds the key to the sea, and a small group of community leaders used it to open the waters for the summer.
The ceremonial "Unlocking of the Ocean" is a century-old tradition in Ocean City, and Mayor Jay Gillian, Councilman Keith Hartzell, Ocean City Beach Patrol Operations Chief Tom Mullineaux, acting Fire Chief Charlie Bowman and former OCBP lieutenants Fred Miller and Angelo Psaltis were among those who participated.
The "unlocking" was followed by another Ocean City tradition: the Business Persons Plunge. In full business attire, Ocean City merchants, employees and professionals marched into the Atlantic for a ceremonial first swim.
Ocean City's "unlocking" has actually been upstaged by Mother Nature, who has been inviting swimmers into the Atlantic all week with unseasonably warm ocean temperatures. The ocean temperature at the time of the Plunge at noon Friday was 66 degrees — still brisk by summer standards but much balmier than typical late-May temperatures.
The weather forecast promises great things for Memorial Day Weekend — mostly or partly sunny skies and high temperatures in the upper 70s for all three days.
"Every day's an adventure in Ocean City," said John Walton, a Realtor with Century 21 Alliance and organizer of the Business Persons Plunge. "Every single one."