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Anchorage cuts lifeguard hours at local lakes

When the weather warms during the summer, many Anchorage families flock to the beaches of local lakes for a swim.
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 6:46 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - When the weather warms during the summer, many Anchorage families flock to the beaches of local lakes for a swim.

Depending on the day of the week, people who choose to recreate at public lakes in Anchorage could be doing so at their own risk.

For years the city has provided lifeguards at both Jewel Lake and Goose Lake in the summertime, but according to the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department website, a staffing shortage means lifeguard hours at the lakes will be cut back to weekends only.

The department says the change will allow them to continue to keep open swim and swimming lessons available through the summer at municipal pools.

On Friday, some moms reacting to the news called it disappointing, coming at a time when more families are getting outside. Crystal Grant waded into the cool waters of Jewel Lake with her two children Friday afternoon.

“Since the kids are out of school, a lot of families, especially with COVID, want to get out,” Grant said. “And you are seeing a lot more people outdoors now, so I think it would be really, really wise to have safeguards here during the week.”

The department said it’s open to expanding lifeguard hours provided they can hire more people. For now, lifeguards will be present at both Jewel Lake and Goose Lake on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-7 p.m.

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