DEEP: Fewer lifeguards on beaches for holiday weekend - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DEEP: Fewer lifeguards on beaches for holiday weekend

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reminding those who plan to head to a state park swimming area for the Labor Day weekend that fewer lifeguards, and in some cases no lifeguards, will be on duty.

In a statement, the DEEP said many of their summer lifeguards leave their positions to return to school, limiting the number available for the holiday weekend.

Westport's Compo Beach usually runs five seated lifeguards, and on Thursday it was down to two.

"I get a little nervous when there are no lifeguards, absolutely," said parent Chrissy Schwarze.

DEEP does attempt to maintain coverage wherever possible through the weekend, but after Monday, all state park swim areas will be unguarded.

"Since there is a shortage of lifeguards, we encourage people to stay in one spot so we can keep everyone isolated," said Alex Mirabile, Westport's assistant waterfront director.

Connecticut state beaches will also have fewer lifeguards. They usually run about 80 to 90 at the 10 public beaches, and that number has been cut in half for the Labor Day weekend.

While many beaches will have a limited number of lifeguards, some beaches will have no lifeguards.

"It doesn't bother me that there are not lifeguards because I have to watch my children anyway," said parent Lori Barshop.

Over the holiday weekend, though, visitors should expect to see no lifeguards at the following beaches:

  • Burr Pond State Park, Torrington
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park, Middletown
  • Wharton Brook State Park, Wallingford
  • Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
    • Meigs Point, Middle & East Beach no guards
  • Sherwood Island State Park, Westport
    • West Beach no guards

Signs will be posted in all areas were no lifeguards are on duty as well.

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