Lake McDonough beach forced to close due to lack of lifeguards - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lake McDonough beach forced to close due to lack of lifeguards

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The MDC removed the West Beach at Lake McDonough sign. It will not be open due to a lack of lifeguards. (WFSB photo) The MDC removed the West Beach at Lake McDonough sign. It will not be open due to a lack of lifeguards. (WFSB photo)
BARKHAMSTED, CT (WFSB) -

A limited number of qualified lifeguards applied for positions this summer and it forced the closure of a beach near Barkhamsted.

The Metropolitan District Commission said its West Beach at Lake McDonough will not be open this summer.

The East Beach, however, will be open for recreational use.

The MDC warned people that the area will fill to capacity on busy holiday weekends quicker now that West Beach will be closed.

"While the MDC regrets any inconvenience this will cause, this action is necessary to ensure the safety and security of all of our recreational users," the MDC said in a news release.

Ed Sullivan said he has fond memories of Lake McDonough. The New Hartford resident said he worked there for more than 30 years.

"[It's] beautiful," he said. "Beautiful, peaceful [and] quiet."

He said the lake is a huge draw during the summer. He's not sure how the staff will manage the crowns with the closure.

"You couldn't get in," Sullivan said. "They would close the beaches. There's so many people. [People have to] park along the roads up here all the way up through. [The] parking lot's were full."

East Beach officially opens Saturday at 8 a.m.

The MDC said it is preparing for it to reach full capacity.

"You gotta have lifeguards," Sullivan said. "If you can't, there's no beaches. Let's face it, you got to close it because people just don't pay attention."

As for other beaches in the state, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it is still finalizing its operation plans and working to fill lifeguard positions.

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