Everyone should enjoy their beach vacation, no matter their age or circumstance. Taking in the sight of lapping waves and an endless horizon is one of life’s great pleasures. The lifeguards at Orange Beach in Alabama were committed to making sure that one visitor had no trouble digging her toes into the sand. Dottie Schneider is 95 years old and during her vacation in October 2021 with her daughter, a group of dedicated lifeguards carried the woman to the beachfront each day.
Scheider was looking forward to relaxing at the Gulf Coast with her daughter Kimberly Waterbury when they realized that getting to the actual beach wouldn’t be possible for her. The nonagenarian makes use of a wheelchair, and there was no way to get there in it. Walking also wasn’t an option for Scheider. A lifeguard from the Beach Safety Division saw Scheider and Waterbury trying to figure out how to maneuver to the beachfront and offered to help.
First, the lifeguard gave Scheider a ride in his beach patrol vehicle and then carried her to her spot in the sand. But the good deed didn’t stop there. After talking with the two women, the lifeguard realized that they were going to be there for a week. He gave them the field office’s number so that they could tell them when they were ready to go to the beach and someone would help assist them. And that’s exactly what the Beach Safety Divison did during each day of their vacation.
The Orange Beach Surf Rescue shared some photos of the interactions on their social media accounts. “Lifeguards are public servants and we could not be happier to help provide this service. Ms. Dottie Schneider recently visited us here in Orange Beach at the age of 95 in hopes to enjoy the beach but was unable to walk through the sand on her own,” one post said.
This act of service made all the difference for the mother-daughter vacation. “We are forever indebted to the guys with Orange Beach Surf Rescue,” Waterbury said. “They made my mother feel special. She was not made to feel like she was a burden on anybody.”
Now, the two women can’t wait to go back to Orange Beach. “It was magical. Better than going to Disney World,” she added. “These guys earned their wings for the way they treated my mom. All of them genuinely cared.”
When 95-year-old Dottie Schneider needed help getting to the beach, the lifeguards at Orange Beach in Alabama carried her there each day of her week-long vacation.
“They made my mother feel special,” Schneider's daughter said. “She was not made to feel like she was a burden on anybody.”