SACO, Maine (AP) – Some coastal Maine communities as well as the state are dealing with a shortage of lifeguards for their beaches, a situation some say puts public safety at risk.
Old Orchard Beach is seven lifeguards short. Veteran lifeguard Ryan Chicoine tells WMTW-TV many of his colleagues have taken jobs in towns that pay more.
John Sherman, deputy director of the Saco Parks and Recreation Department, says every year it’s harder to find lifeguards. He’s hiring more high school kids these days, instead of college students.
The manager at Ferry Beach State Park said it was a struggle to get the two lifeguards he has. He says rangers are assisting as spotters
Some say the problem is the up-front cost to become certified, which can run as high as $250.