By Vince Conti
WILDWOOD CREST - Commissioners July 21 celebrated Beach Patrol Lt. Max Bilkins’ 50th summer with the borough. Bilkins joined the patrol in 1970. Following a couple years' absence later, in the 1970s, Bilkins returned and never left.
Bilkins was promoted to lieutenant in 1979 and has served in that position since. In accepting the award, Bilkins said it was never planned.
“I had no idea I’d be standing here,” he said, as he looked at family that included his grandchildren. He spoke of getting to know so many regular summer visitors to the Crest.
“I know many of them by name,” he said.
Bilkins helped build the borough's reputation in beach patrol competitions, winning a record eight Around the Island Row championships over four decades.
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