State beaches dealing with a shortage of lifeguards

MILFORD - The State of Connecticut is giving a heads up to parents because some state beaches will be so short on lifeguards this summer and there could be days where there would not be one at all. 

Silver Sands State Park is one of the three beaches that will be seeing a shortage.

Chris Collibee with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said there are only 70 lifeguards in the state which is not enough.

"We face competition with a lot of other places that have the needs for lifeguards - country clubs, town beaches, private organization," said Collibee.

Indian Wells State Park in Shelton and Sherwood Island State Park in Westport could also face a shortage and state officials are reminding beachgoers to keep this in mind especially for those who cannot swim well.

A few helpful tips include: going to another beach that does have a lifeguard, keeping an eye on your children and heading to an inland park where there is more shade on hot days.

"We’re still struggling a little bit but we’re hopeful that as kids get out of school, they’ll realize 'oh I have to get a job, mom and dad have to get them a job'," added Collibee.

FOX61 spoke to one mother who has a four-year old son who said she goes to Silver Sands often since it is close to where she lives.

"There’s actually a lot of kids here so yeah that would worry me especially with the sand bar and people that go out to the island, yes definitely," said Trina Amato of Naugatuck.

In fact, Amato said she remembered the tragedy that happened last summer when someone drowned.

"I’ve been here before when somebody went out on the sand bar and they got drifted away and then I was here two days later when they found the person," added Amato.

Other mothers who also have toddlers said they were not aware of the shortage and will now keep a close eye on where their little ones wander off to.

"Your children are in the water and in the blink of an eye, many people aren’t CPR trained and it’s life-threatening to go into the water and have a drowning and no one there to help," said Isabel Maldonado of Stratford.

"I mean, not that we allow her to venture a lot in there, but I would certainly like to have some lifeguards around," said Avani Vaishnav of Hamden.

The state said notices will be put up on their state website as well as the beaches on days where there is no lifeguard.

State officials are also offering free training to anyone who is interested in being a lifeguard. Click here for more info.