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Beaches and other swimming areas will have extended life guard services this summer, state agency says

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation is offering “extended lifeguard services” this summer at dozens of swimming areas overseen by the agency statewide, officials said recently.

In a statement last week, DCR confirmed that the extended lifeguarding began last Saturday, with nearly 30 designated swimming areas across Massachusetts receiving guard coverage either five days per week or seven days, from approximately 10:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., depending on location.

A full list of affected locations is available here. The beaches with seven-day per week coverage include Wollaston Beach in Quincy, Carson Beach in Southie, Constitution Beach in East Boston, Revere Beach in Revere, and Nantasket Beach in Hull.

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“The Massachusetts state parks system is made up of popular ocean beaches and inland waterfronts that offer some of the best recreational swimming in the state and we are excited to welcome visitors to these locations,” said state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card in the statement.

“Safety at our waterfronts is of the utmost priority to the Baker-Polito Administration and we continue to recruit lifeguards who are dedicated to ensuring residents and visitors are able experience these exceptional waterfronts in a safe environment all season long,” Card said.

Her words were echoed in the statement by Acting DCR Commissioner Stephanie Cooper.

“Every summer DCR welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state parks system who come and enjoy the Commonwealth’s public beaches, parks, and other natural resources,” Cooper said. “In order to provide a first class state parks system, the agency hires passionate staff, such as lifeguards, rangers, and park interpreters, who are dedicated to safeguarding the Commonwealth’s invaluable properties and the people visiting, and we encourage anyone interested in joining our DCR team to apply today.”

The statement also included information about hourly rates for DCR lifeguards.

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This year, the release said, the Baker administration increased the hourly rate for lifeguards to between $21 and $26 depending on position and associated certifications, compared to (last year’s starting rates of $20 for lifeguards and $21 for head lifeguards.

In addition, the statement continued, DCR also continues to offer a $500 retention bonus to lifeguards who work for the department through the end of the season.

Massachusetts saw a number of drowning deaths last year.

There were 18 drowning deaths across the state in May 2021, more than the past three Mays combined. In June and July 2021, swimming fatalities continued to rise. Lifeguards were not present at most of those drownings, a Globe review in July 2021 found, though in one notable case, a 19-year-old drowned in Pleasure Bay off South Boston with lifeguards present.

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.