Skip to main content

Help Wanted: Want to Be a Lifeguard?

Mon, 03/25/2024 - 09:57
Lifeguards play a key role on the beaches each year.
Durell Godfrey

Drew Smith, who manages East Hampton Village's Main Beach and is the chief of the village's lifeguards, said recently that anyone looking to work this summer as a lifeguard, on the village beaches or on the East Hampton Town beaches overseen by John Ryan Jr., "should either contact me or John as soon as possible — I can't emphasize that enough. Reach out to us and let us know your interest."

 Smith's email is [email protected]. Ryan has said all the information a prospective town ocean lifeguard needs can be found at the town's website,

 The first ocean lifeguard certification course begins, said Smith, "the week after Memorial Day. It goes for about three-and-a-half weeks. It's a course taught jointly by town and village guards, at the Maidstone Club, after school, generally starting at 3:30. . . . There are two ocean certification tests in June and two in August."

 "The town and village, and the clubs too, always need lifeguards and staff," added Smith, who oversees around 33 guards at the village's three protected beaches on an average summer day. Ryan, who was recently appointed as a delegate to the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States Lifesaving Association, oversees around 65.

 You have to be at least 16 to be an ocean lifeguard, 15 to be a stillwater guard, whose training course runs from April 14 to June 14. Those who are 15 going on 16 can also avail themselves of the town's cadet training. Ryan has described it as "an apprentice-type program in which we teach all the responsibilities involved in being an ocean lifeguard. They'll take a capstone test at the end of the season that will get them ready for the ocean certification test the following summer."

 As for hourly pay rates, neither Smith nor Ryan could cite them, an indicator, perhaps, that to their minds money is not what lifeguarding is about. "The rates are competitive," said Smith, "but you do it for love of the job. You're getting an opportunity to save somebody's life."

Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.