Manahawkin swimming beach closes for day due to lifeguard shortage
The swimming beach at A. Paul King County Park in Manahawkin was closed Tuesday due to a lifeguard shortage.
Ocean County Parks & Recreation posted the announcement on its social media pages, saying some of their guards are now heading back to school and sports.
“We don’t look forward to the kids going back to school, working for us, but we anticipate this time every year,” says Belmar Chief Lifeguard Harry Harsin. “Some go to school in Florida, and they start early.”
Preparing beach staffing for the end of summer starts before it even begins.
“We try to find what the kids schedules are going to be like, try to hire as many people as we can to be through the season,” says Tim Harmon, with Sea Girt lifeguards.
Lifeguards in Belmar and Sea Girt take watch on fully staffed and crowded beaches. But what happens in a week or so when the young adults trade their paddleboards and guard stands for textbooks and laptops?
“Some guys will work extra we will adjust schedules, as you go to beaches - not only Sea Girt but any beach. Check with the guards, make sure the stands are open – only swim in front of stands where guards are on duty and protected in that area,” says Harmon.
Harvey Cedars anticipates full staffing through mid-month, but adjustments are possible. Seaside Heights will remain fully staffed through Labor Day and during the post-season. In Asbury Park, as kids head back to school, guards will work extra shifts – and former guards will help fill the vacancies.
The beach safety crews want to remind visitors that it’s always best to check with gate attendants for any closures of swimming areas, and only go in the water in view of the on-duty lifeguards.