Southampton Village Ocean Rescue will be holding their first fundraising dinner—Out of the Blue—this Saturday, June 10th from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at 40 Main Street in Southampton. All of the donations at the event will be raised for SVOR’s essential services. They are a volunteer first-responder organization that coordinates with several emergency agencies for any aquatic emergencies.
SVOR Chief Alex King spoke more about their mission and the upcoming Out of the Blue event. She says, “SVOR is dedicated to making expeditious and safe water rescues year-round at all unprotected beaches in and around Southampton Village.” All of their rescuers are ocean lifeguard- and CPR-certified, and the emphasis they place on training continues to be made possible through fundraising efforts and support from the community.
Alex says, “SVOR recognizes that preventative lifeguarding is a key component to saving lives. Members actively promote water safety and education.” This fundraising event is a way to bring those in the community together for a fun night of seafood, live music, wine, and art while spreading awareness about the importance of water safety in an area where aquatics are at the forefront.
Alex discussed how much effort and community support went into the event, saying, “We sourced local seafood, a local chef team, local wine, local art, and amazing live music from a long time Hamptonite. The lovely venue was donated by the Masons, and located in the Village of Southampton. The wine was donated by Wolffer, Herbert & Rist and McCalls. The seafood was donated by Conscience Point Shellfish Hatchery, Bill & Hannah Pell and Haskell’s Seafood. All of the seafood is sustainably sourced. Desserts have been donated by Saltwater Kitchen and Bibbis’ Baked Goods. Fred Goldring will be singing and playing guitar. All the art is water inspired and all of the artists have donated half of the proceeds of their sales to SVOR. The art will be available for sale on the night of the event and any unsold art will remain for sale online for thirty days after the exhibition.”
The organization of this event serves to highlight the close-knit Hamptons community that we all love and how truly amazing strides can be made when we come together for a common cause.
SVOR trains lifeguards year-round and provides ocean lifeguard certification courses during high season. They also run a Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguard Certification Program in the off-season. Alex says, “We have formalized our community adult swim lessons, overseen by SVOR volunteers. Educational information about rip currents is distributed during Beach Safety Week and at various events throughout the summer. Notably, SVOR is responsible for the installation of rip current signs at all Southampton Village ocean beach access points. In addition, members safeguard swimmers in charitable events that involve open water, as well as other water-related functions in Southampton.”
SVOR has initiated the Lifeguard Training program for individuals that are sixteen or older. They also have a Junior Lifeguard Training program, which they run at Coopers Beach for ages fourteen and fifteen, with hopes of expansion in the future. These are just a few of their many programs and endeavors, both existing and to come.
Everything that Southampton Village Ocean Rescue does is to work toward their ultimate goal: waterproofing Southampton. Alex mentioned, “SVOR is primarily funded by the Village of Southampton and raises additional funds through Southampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue, Inc. We protect the unguarded beaches in Southampton, certified ocean lifeguards are on-call 24/7 year-round. SVOR also lifeguards numerous Hamptons water events and promotes water safety in the schools.”
Since they are a newly formed organization, starting out in 2018, these fundraising efforts are crucial for the effective operation of SVOR. Alex noted, “We remain on-call through the winter, and cold-water gear is extremely expensive. Many of our members don’t have proper winter gear. We have been lifeguarding the Polar Bear Plunge for Heart of the Hamptons since our inception, as well as their Summer Moonlit Plunge, and as a thank you they generously donated some winter gear to us in January, and we joked around that Heart of the Hamptons ‘Polar-ized’ SVOR.” Though these donations and funds have helped SVOR to make large advances, Alex says, “We still need a lot more cold-water gear and various lifesaving equipment. We have made great strides over the last couple of years, and we have big plans for the future. PSEG Long Island generously donated a brand-new AED to us, and we are so grateful to have this critical lifesaving device.”
SVOR will be holding another big fundraising event scheduled for later in August, which will be their S-Mile Swim Challenge at Coopers Beach. The swim aims to bring the community together, whether a participant or spectator, in support of local emergency responders. They had a great turnout last summer, which they hope to expand upon this year.
Always continuing their important work toward the organization’s mission, SVOR has several programs, training, and certifications available to join in on throughout the summer. They hope to see the local community enjoy a great and successful event this Saturday evening at Out of the Blue, and they are excited for everything they have in store as the Hamptons kicks off the summer season. For more information about SVOR and to purchase tickets for Out of the Blue, visit SVOR.org.