NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Lifeguards across the state are hanging up their rescue buoys for the season after Labor Day, leaving swimmers responsible for their own safety.

Labor Day Weekend may be the unofficial end to summer but the hot and sunny weather is here to stay this week sending thousands of people to Connecticut’s shoreline.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said they had over 90 lifeguards this season. Most lifeguards were looking for summer work and are now heading back to high school or college.

DEEP is cautioning people that swimming is now at your own risk at state parks after Labor Day.

A federal day off celebrating America’s labor movement marks the last day of work for over 90 state lifeguards.

DEEP said they had fewer lifeguards on duty over the holiday weekend because most are back in school.

“Our parks are very busy,” said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble. 

According to the Connecticut Department of Health, there are an average of 27 drownings per year but that number appears to be trending down in 2023 with five deaths reported since March.

In order to ensure safety, DEEP is advising people to stick to designated swimming areas, not to drink alcohol and for families to watch their children at all times.

“Alcohol and swimming don’t mix. Parents watch your children and just use extra caution knowing you are responsible for your safety in the water,” Trumble said.

Kathryn Hanson, a swim instructor at the Farmington Valley YMCA shared her advice to stay safe in the water.

“Be within arms reach of your children at all times. Don’t go past your belly button and one thing we always tell our children is always ask for permission so if they are entering the water, they have to ask permission,” Hanson said.

Another tip Hanson has for parents is when you’re in a group always designate a water watcher because in groups people tend to assume someone is watching and that isn’t always the case.

“It’s not what you think, help, help, help, it’s silent. They are going to go underwater and you’re not going to know what happened,” Hanson said.