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DNREC to hold lifeguard tryouts, while Rehoboth Beach lifeguards are ready for the summer

As DNREC is prepared to hold tryouts for lifeguards for state parks, Rehoboth Beach is all set for the summer.

Rehoboth already held its testing for lifeguards this summer while DNREC will hold tryouts this Sunday, April 30, and May 7 at the Sussex Family YMCA in Rehoboth from 7-to-9 am.

DNREC is looking for lifeguards for Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, and Fenwick Island state parks. Those trying out have to be 16 years of age and older.

The tryouts will include a 500-yard swim within 10 minutes, freestyle stroke only, and a one-mile beach run within 10 minutes.

As for Rehoboth’s lifeguards, Rehoboth Beach Patrol Captain Jeff Giles says he’s ready to go with lots of lifeguards from previous summers coming back.

"We're actually filled, which is awesome! I had a lot of people returning. Think I have a lot of guards. This is their last summer, I think some have even graduated college, and they're just hanging out for one more good summer. Yes, I filled up,” said Giles. “I still have an opening or two, but it's basically I sort of know that because sometimes people will change their mind by opening day. But yeah we're pretty much filled up which is great."

Giles credits the city with providing a $1,000 stipend which goes to any lifeguard to go towards their rent or lease while they’re working.

Between 52 and 55 lifeguards will be patrolling their beach starting on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

While Rehoboth is ready for the start of the summer, will that hold true through the whole summer? Rehoboth Beach Patrol Captain Jeff Giles says it’s possible attrition will be high.

"We do have a lot of lifeguards that will leave early. A lot of them are in sports in college and in high school so they do have obligations as the summer moves on. We just hope that we can keep enough. Most of the majority of people are down here on the weekends, and we want to be able to do it at least through a couple weekends after Labor Day weekend," said Giles.

Giles wants to remind anyone trying to take advantage of our current summer-like weather that there are currently no lifeguards on duty and that the water temperatures are too cold for comfort.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.