Many Massachusetts beaches are facing a severe shortage of lifeguards

Westport’s Horseneck Beach Preserve is patrolled seven days a week, but not all beaches in Massachusetts. The labor shortage that has affected many other industries is also being felt on the beaches.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has hired people to fill many lifeguard positions at state beaches and pools, while others have limited or no protection. When staff are limited, it means that some bathing areas are unprotected and some may have to close from time to time.

Boston’s WCVB 5 reported some local communities struggle to staff lifeguard roosts as well.

Many Massachusetts beaches still face a severe shortage of lifeguards

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Horseneck only provided lifeguard coverage on weekends and holidays until June 18. Now lifeguards are on duty seven days a week; but according to the DCR website, the beach at Demarest Lloyd State Park in Dartmouth remains unsupervised.

Fort Phoenix State Reserve in Fairhaven had no lifeguards until June 18, but is now patrolled seven days a week until September 5, 2022.

Watson Pond State Park in Taunton and Camper’s Beach at Massasoit State Park remain unattended at this time.

Many Massachusetts beaches still face a severe shortage of lifeguards

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

At least 19 state beaches will not have lifeguards this summer, which worries officials after the peak of drownings last summer, as reported by CBS Boston Channel 4.

ground floor increased salaries and offered other incentives, including bonuses to attract more young people to become lifeguards. The effort appears to have had limited success.

Many Massachusetts beaches still face a severe shortage of lifeguards

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

DCR has compiled a full list of state beaches, indicating those protected by lifeguards and those left unattended. Status is subject to change, so DCR suggests checking this list before making your beach plans.

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