Lifeguard Stand

Warnemunde, Germany

Photo Credit: Meelina Lace

Standing beside the Baltic Sea at the estuary of the river Warnow is the city of Rostock in Mecklenburg, Germany, home to Warnemunde: a popular seaside resort and one of the busiest cruise ports in the world.

Warnemunde was nothing more than a humble fishing village in the year 1200 A.D. It would remain unremarkable for centuries, even as it lost its autonomous status after being purchased by the city of Rostock in 1323 to allow the city access to the sea.

Warnemunde’s status as a seaside resort would not be realized until the early 19th century, at which point bathers separated by gender started frequenting the area. The five kilometre stretch of beach would grow popular in the ensuing decades, with a cruise line center built in 2005 that established the area as crucial to the cruise ship industry, and shifted the local economy to focus more on tourism than fishing,

Today, the beach has seven rescue stations like the one pictured above where a total of up to 25 lifeguards are on duty, fully equipped with any medical equipment that might be needed in an emergency.

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