How the summer in Ocean County could affect lifeguards and beaches
Summer in Ocean County won't be like it has been in years past due to the pandemic and it's already having an impact on people whose busy working season occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, including Lifeguards.
Harvey Cedars Chief Lifeguard Randy Townsend explains that usually at this time each year lifeguards or those seeking to be a lifeguard are submitting all the necessary paperwork and getting physically into shape.
"At this time of year we're receiving applications for lifeguards or potential lifeguards and they're doing some physical training as well but with gyms closed that's pretty much come to a screeching halt," Townsend told WOBM News. "I've spoken with a lot of my staff and they're currently doing their own stay-at-home physical fitness plan whether it be running, core workouts or even taking an icy dip in the bay to keep up with their swimming."
In addition to being physically fit and having their usual responsibilities this summer of monitoring the water and beaches, lifeguards will likely have the added task of monitoring social distancing.
"We will be adhering to the guidelines of the state and local municipalities in regards to social distancing measures," Townsend said. "It's a very different landscape for the Beach Patrol and the potential of having social distancing regulations in play for the entire summer and how we plan to manage all of that. It's going to be a lot for sure."
The potentially added responsibility of lifeguards monitoring social distancing on the beach could present some challenges this summer.
"Some of the challenges we could see on the beach this summer are with social distancing. It could become an issue and quite possibly not, it's going to depend on the guidance from the state and what they're allowing the general public to do," Townsend said. "We're hoping for complete compliance from the public and that they're being very respectful to fellow community members and giving everybody their proper space."
Townsend says they are preparing for all possible scenarios this summer with whatever state regulations are in place.
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