WOODBURY, Minn. — Parents say they’re concerned about the lack of lifeguards on some Minnesota beaches after a child recently drowned at a lake nearly 10 miles southeast of St. Paul.
A 5-year-old boy drowned at Carver Lake in Woodbury last weekend, Minnesota Public Radio (http://bit.ly/2t40pJ9 ) reported. The lake doesn’t have lifeguards.
Woodbury Park and Recreation Director Bob Klatt said it’s becoming more common for free state and county waterfronts to have no lifeguards, while paid facilities typically have lifeguards. Klatt said Carver Lake has had lifeguards in the past but was converted from a fenced-in, paid facility to a free area with no lifeguard in 2009 because of budget issues.
Woodbury isn’t planning to change the no-lifeguard practice, Klatt said.
Other park districts in Minnesota are in similar situations. Eight of 12 beaches run by Minneapolis parks and recreation have lifeguards. Three Rivers Park District cut beach lifeguards in 2002 for budget reasons and doesn’t plan on bringing them back, a district spokesman said.
Parent Cory Albert said the lifeguard issue shouldn’t be about the money but about safety. Albert says he ensures his daughters are wearing arm floaties when they swim in Carver Lake.
“I think there should be a lifeguard here, especially because it’s kind of remote, it takes a little while to get to, and it would be safer if there was someone obviously here,” he said.
Daycare provider Shiloh Clamons said she’s always watching her kids, even if there is a lifeguard present.
“If there’s a lifeguard or not a lifeguard, it’s always the responsibility of the adult that brings the child to always have an eye on the child that’s swimming,” she said.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org