Galveston Beach Patrol concerned over lifeguard shortage due to COVID-19

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Galveston lifeguard Michael Lucero starts his day early as people start showing up at the beach.

"We're doing the best we can do," Lucero said.

As he works, the Galveston Island Beach Patrol is concerned they'll be short of lifeguards this summer because of Coronavirus concerns.

"It's going to be a long summer," Capt. Tony Pryor with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol said.

Pryor said on average they have around 80 lifeguards working. He's expecting, at best, they'll see two-thirds of that, which he says is a real safety problem.

"We'd love to have more domestic help and have more locals come out and be lifeguards, we just don't know what the answer is," Pryor said.

They're actively hiring and plan on doing more lifeguard training academies to get stands staffed.

"We'd like to have the whole beach covered for everybody's safety," Pryor said.

If they're short, they'll make sure to manage the busier beaches and possibly ask lifeguards to work extra hours in order to keep everyone safe.

"The ocean can be a little dicey sometimes and you know it's our job to prevent and protect people on the beach," Lucero said.

Beach patrol says if you're interested in learning about becoming a lifeguard, contact them.

SEE ALSO:

'Thousands' visited Galveston beaches on reopening weekend, beach patrol says

Galveston struggling to manage overcrowding at its beaches

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