RI short 20 lifeguards amid nationwide shortage

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — With the weather cooperating to the full extent, many will be heading for the coast for the Fourth of July holiday. But state officials are warning beachgoers that there nay be fewer lifeguards on duty than in previous summers.

Beaches nationwide are dealing with a lifeguard shortage and Rhode Island is no exception. The lifeguard coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Management told the Providence Journal that Rhode Island typically needs 150 lifeguards to cover its 14 state beaches.

This year, the agency is 20 lifeguards short of that number.

Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett is fully staffed this week, according to lifeguard captain Jameson logiodice, with 18 scheduled to work each day.

“We don’t have that big of a shortage here this year,” logiodice said. “We’re about two guards short this summer.”

Safety Guide: Beaches and Rip Currents »

Beachgoers at Scarborough didn’t seem too concerned by the shortage, but those visiting beaches around the state should make note of the lifeguards on duty.

Anyone interested in becoming a lifeguard should contact the Rhode Island Department of Parks and Recreation.

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