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Lifeguard shortage means service cut at two Minneapolis beaches

The three most popular beaches staffed by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will retain lifeguards through Labor Day.
Lifeguard chair

MINNEAPOLIS — Lifeguard service will be eliminated at two beaches in Minneapolis due to a staffing shortage.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced Friday that no lifeguards will be posted at Cedar Lake East Beach and Lake Harriet North Beach for the remainder of the summer. 

Assistant Superintendent of Recreation Tyrize Cox says the aquatics department has been trying to hire additional lifeguards all summer but has reached a point where hiring additional staff is no longer feasible.

The three most popular beaches staffed by the board - Bde Maka Ska Thomas Beach, Nokomis Main Beach, and Wirth Lake Beach - will continue to be monitored by lifeguards.

"While we are disappointed that we cannot continue lifeguard services at all five beaches through mid-August as we would in a typical year, we are grateful to have enough staff to guard these three beaches,” said Cox. “Unfortunately, this late in the season we have run out of time to hire, train and certify new staff.”

RELATED: Minneapolis parks ramp up lifeguard presence at some beaches

Lifeguards will be on duty from noon to 7 p.m., seven days a week at Bde Maka Ska Thomas, Nokomis and Wirth Lake Beaches. If the temperature is 85 degrees or warmer at 6 p.m., lifeguards will remain on duty until 8 p.m.Those hours will run through Labor Day. 

Beach visitors are encouraged to social distance, bring a water bottle and hand sanitizer, and follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For more information, visit the MPRB website.