Westport beach to go without lifeguards
Updated 12:32 pm, Wednesday, August 10, 2016
WESTPORT — Burying Hill Beach will have no lifeguards on duty during the week as of Aug. 15, the town announced Wednesday.
The change is due to staff shortages as lifeguards return to college and high school, with high school sports preseasons beginning soon, Parks and Recreation Operations Supervisor Dan DeVito said. Lifeguards still available to work will be staffed at Compo Beach during the week and split between Compo and Burying Hill on weekends since Compo is more popular during the week, he added.
The town usually decreases weekday lifeguard staffing toward the end of the summer as staff return to school. Similar changes were made last year, DeVito said.
Lifeguards will only be staffed at the beach from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of the season, Sept. 5.
The cut comes after a decrease in lifeguard staffing at Sherwood Island State Park earlier this summer. Since July 4, the state has only staffed guards Wednesday through Sunday with focus on East Beach.
The Sherwood Island reduction in lifeguard staffing was done in an effort for the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to reduce its operating budget. The department selected the least popular beach days to leave the beach unguarded.