State Urges Water Safety this Summer, Still Hiring Lifeguards

 by TWIW StaffJune 27, 2021

The Baker-Polito Administration is urging the public to take additional water safety precautions while swimming.

The state is further reminding the public of the dangers associated with swimming and provide water safety tips. Additionally, DCR announced a pay increase for lifeguards to encourage more individuals to apply.

“Every year, Massachusetts waterfronts and state-managed pool facilities experience high numbers of visitors seeking swimming opportunities for fun and exercise,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “However, it is incredibly important that we all, regardless of age and skill level, remain conscious of the very real dangers water can present and practice safe swimming precautions to avoid a tragedy.”

“From Wollaston Beach to Chicopee State Park, there are excellent waterfronts and facilities across the Commonwealth that offer many ways for children their families, teenagers and adults to cool off this summer,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Whether at your local neighborhood pool or a coastal beach, we urge all visitors to stay vigilant, swim safely and watch children closely at all times.”

Safety tips to adhere to when swimming include: 

  • Swim within DCR’s designated swimming waterfronts. These areas are clearly marked with ropes and buoys. Swimming outside of the designated swimming areas can be dangerous;
  • Swim in the buddy system and always tell someone where you are going;
  • Keep a close eye on children near the water. Parents and other guardians serve as the first and primary line of safety for their children;
  • Teach children to always ask permission before going near the water;
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or drugs;
  • Drink lots of water;
  • Don’t dive headfirst into the water;
  • Do not swim during a storm or when there is lightning;
  • Make sure you know how to swim. If you can’t swim, keep to shallow areas or use a U.S. Coast Guard-guard approved life jacket;
  • Don’t swim beyond your skillset;
  • If caught in a rip current, don't swim against it. Swim parallel to the shoreline to escape it, and then at an angle toward the beach;
  • When in a boat, wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket;
  • And if a person in your group goes missing, check the water and notify lifeguard and park staff.

More water safety tips can be found on the Department of Public Health’s website, as well as tips for safe swimming in natural bodies of water.

DCR has announced a $3 pay increase for all DCR lifeguards, who will now receive $20 per hour, or $21 per hour for head guards. Additionally, lifeguards who remain committed for the entire season with DCR will also receive a $500 bonus at the end of the season.

Interested individuals can apply online and are strongly encouraged to call Jim Esposito at (857) 214-0400 or visit the DCR’s lifeguarding webpage, application information, and lifeguard requirements can be found.

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