PORT ARANSAS, Texas — There is a shortage of lifeguards nationwide. The Port Aransas Surf Rescue team is like many in trying to cope with the problem.
“Hiring in Port Aransas can be difficult, it’s an expensive place to live, and it’s a bit of a commute from Padre Island and the Corpus Christi area," says Colleen Simpson, director of parks and recreation for the city of Port Aransas. "So staffing has always been a challenge."
The city has 14 lifeguards working this summer, below their anticipated number of 20.
Here is everything you need to know about their plans to recruit more lifeguards and expand their surf rescue program:
- They plan to build a surf rescue station that will house their equipment and vehicles. The station will have lifeguard facilities, showers, a training room and workspace. The goal is for the station to allow for more year-round positions for surf rescue. Currently, the only year-round position is the surf-rescue manager.
- The department of parks and recreation plans to initiate a junior lifeguard program for next season. “It would be for kids in the 12 to 15-year-old range, and it would get them a week-long experience on the beach paddling, swimming in the surf, shadowing our surf rescue team and hopefully build this enthusiasm and excitement so that as they grow they’ll want to join our team later on,” says Simpson.
How will the initiatives be funded?
The hotel-motel occupancy tax allows for Port Aransas visitors to contribute to the cause.
If you’re looking to apply to be a lifeguard, you can find more information on the website of Port Aransas Parks and Recreation Department here.