(WTNH) – DEEP reminded state residents that the number of lifeguards at state park swimming areas will be decreased as the end of summer approaches, after the Labor Day weekend.
Following a successful recruitment campaign over the summer, DEEP announced it hired 90 lifeguards to staff eight of the most popular swimming areas in the state park system. This is a noteworthy accomplishment, as jurisdictions across the country have been facing a lifeguard shortage.
As summer comes to a close, many lifeguards leave their positions to return to school. However, DEEP said it will maintain coverage wherever possible during Labor Day weekend.
DEEP stated it plans to have guards positioned at Black Rock, Silver Sands, and Hammonasset Beach State Parks on Saturday through Monday. Other swimming areas may not have guards on duty, DEEP warned.
“Definitely look at our flags and when you see the red and yellow flags, red is no swimming, yellow is swim at your own risk. A lot of our beaches will be raising those flags this year,” said Eric Desmarkis, state lifeguard.
Eric Desmarkis and Bobby Reynolds will continue to keep watch at Silver Sands Beach.
“The weekend is going to be crowded. I think we’re expecting the holiday weekend to be pretty busy,” Reynolds said.
And after Labor Day (Monday, September 6), there will be no more lifeguards on duty at any of Connecticut’s state park swimming areas.
“With the last summer days of swimming fast approaching, DEEP encourages everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and use sound judgment when swimming,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “With a reduced number of lifeguards on duty as the summer winds down, remember to stay within designated swimming areas, watch your children, and don’t swim if you’ve been consuming alcohol.”
For more information on swimming safety, visit DEEP’s website.