The four-day stretch from the Fourth Of July through the weekend may have been the busiest ever for state parks in Connecticut, according to the Department Of Energy And Environmental Protection. However, despite the popularity, there’s no plan to add more lifeguards.
In fact, more than half of the designated swimming spots at state parks have no lifeguards, even at places with a history of drownings.
DEEP said guards are on duty at spots with the most visitors, or where there’s a potential for more danger such as waves and currents. That’s why all four state parks on the coast have lifeguards.
At Gay City State Park in Hebron, it’s swim at your own risk, meaning no lifeguard, even though just three years ago there was a drowning.
“If you look around here, it’s pretty quiet, I mean it wouldn’t make sense to be paying a lifeguard to sit here at maybe an empty beach where they could be someplace where there’s a lot of people and there’s more need of extra eyes,” park visitor Tom Desalle said.
Since 2000, there have been thirty-two drownings at Connecticut state parks, according to DEEP…most recently at Hopeville Pond in Griswold where a 16 year old drowned on the Fourth Of July.