QUINCY, MASS. (WHDH) - While swimmers flock to beaches to beat the heat, most areas have not yet posted lifeguards — and officials and caregivers are concerned there will be a shortage when regular swimming season hits.
Several people, including multiple teenagers, drowned over the weekend when 90-degree temperatures had residents looking to cool off in the water. Many sites have not officially begun swim season and have no lifeguards anyway, and a lifeguard advocate said pool and beach closures during the pandemic may have led to fewer people seeking certification.
“Even getting pool time, getting pools to be open during the pandemic … and then when they were open they were limiting their numbers and certainly classes weren’t a big part of what they were holding in those pool situations. So, I’m sure that’s an issue as well,” said Tom Gill, vice president of the U.S. Lifesaving Association.
Department of Conservation officials said they are hiring lifeguards for state beaches, and parents and caregivers said they want that supervision at the water’s edge.
“I don’t think it’s safe for young kids and especially with the waves they don’t even want to go near the water because they’re just scared and especially if you don’t see any lifeguards around it kind of makes it like, oh, you’re worried too,” said nanny Tania Ortiz.
“I would prefer to have them. I suppose. It makes everyone safer,” said parent Jamie Singer.
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