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Town, Village Junior Lifeguarding Begins

Thu, 06/27/2024 - 12:05
In junior lifeguard programs, young people learn lifesaving skills and ocean safety basics.
Craig Macnaughton

With the arrival of summer comes the return of junior lifeguard programs for kids 9 to 15 run by East Hampton Town and East Hampton Village, both happening on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 11 a.m.

The village’s program, at Main Beach, began last weekend, but registration is available through July 13. The town program will begin this weekend at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett and Kirk Park in Montauk. They run weekly through the Aug. 3 weekend, culminating in a two-day tournament open to all participants.

Not only do the programs act as a pipeline for future lifeguards, but they teach participants the basics of water and ocean safety, including how to navigate treacherous conditions.

For the town program, participants must have first passed a swim test at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter. At the beach on the first day they will take an ocean swimming test. The cost for all six weekends is $90, which includes a T-shirt and rash guard. Registration is through the Town Recreation Department at

For younger children ages 6 to 8, the town offers a Nipper Guard program teaching some of the same basic skills in calmer waters — at East Lake Beach in Montauk on Monday and Wednesday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and at Albert’s Landing Beach in Amagansett on Tuesday and Thursday at the same hours. The cost is $60, and these trainees must also have passed an evaluation at the Y. The Nipper program runs for the month of July.

Registration for both town programs is through the Recreation Department, online at

For the Main Beach program, trainees are “strongly encouraged” to have passed the swim test at the Y, but because some are not here in the off-season, they will have an opportunity to be evaluated at the beach on the first day they take part. Groups are separated by age and ability. The cost for the summer is $250 and includes a rash guard and T-shirt. Registration is at

The village also offers 15-year-olds in the junior lifeguard program a chance to do more in-depth training in its cadet program, which prepares them to take the ocean lifeguard certification course once they turn 16. This additional training will take one to two hours a week on a weekday. Drew Smith, the village’s chief lifeguard and beach manager, can be emailed for details at [email protected].


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