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Shortage of lifeguards in Sunshine Coast leaves pools with restricted hours

Like many workplaces across the province, the Sunshine Coast is also facing a labor shortage.

“We are in a difficult situation as quite frankly, we do not have enough qualified lifeguards to safely keep our swimming pools open at our regular hours,” says Shelley Gagnon, General Manager of Community Services at the SCRD. “We are calling on members of our community to consider becoming a lifeguard and to help us keep these facilities that are so important to residents, open and available for use.”

With a lack of lifeguards available on the coast, pools have reduced hours— and in other jurisdictions, closed. This Sunday, the three swimming pools operated by the SCRD will be facing further alterations to their schedule.

“Our staff have looked at a number of ways to reduce the impact of these schedule changes on swimming pool users and this scenario will ensure that residents along the Sunshine Coast will have equal access to their local swimming pools,” says Shelley Gagnon. “Unless the availability of qualified lifeguards improves, these changes will be in place until June 2022.and will be reassessed at that time.”

During the COVID-19 shutdown of pools, many previous lifeguards have either moved on to other careers or have not renewed their lifeguard certification. The Sunshine Coast Regional District is now looking for new lifeguards to take up the mantle.

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Those interested in becoming a lifeguard for the district can find out more information on their website.

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