Parks officials struggle to fill lifeguard stands

Posted: Updated:
MILFORD -

Connecticut State Parks officials are struggling to fill the lifeguard stands at some state beaches ahead of the official start of summer.

Officials say they need lifeguards for Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Indian Well State Park in Shelton and Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. Lifeguards are currently present at state parks two to five days a week.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has hired 70 lifeguards so far for the season, but it still needs to add up to 20 more. The hope is to ramp up staff to seven days a week at all state parks by July 4, but officials say recruiting lifeguards has been a challenge -- not just in Connecticut but across the country.

In order to help bring in applicants, DEEP is offering free training to people interested.

News 12 spoke with some families at Silver Sands Wednesday who said they were surprised to learn about the shortage.

"I just noticed there's no lifeguards here, which is kind of disappointing," says Angela Molina, of Oakville. "You don't have to worry as much when there's a lifeguard keeping an eye out on your kids."

The state pays summer lifeguards anywhere from $10.10 to $18 an hour depending on experience. Anyone interested in applying can find more information online or call 860-424-3200.

Thursday, June 21 marks the official start of summer.

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