East Hampton Town lifeguards at Nick's Beach in Montauk on Aug. 3,...

East Hampton Town lifeguards at Nick's Beach in Montauk on Aug. 3, 2020. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Suffolk County officials said this weekend they don’t have a shortage of lifeguards for its public beaches.

A county spokesperson said lifeguards were given a raise in anticipation of this summer season, but did not provide a pay rate.

The county does not operate any public pools.

Lifeguards are on duty at Smith Point County Park in Shirley, Meschutt Beach County Park in Hampton Bays and Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton.

There is a nationwide shortage of lifeguards for pools and beaches due to several factors including delayed certifications because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials have said.

Another issue is that temporary work visas were on hold for a time, which help seasonal workers from overseas come to the United States for employment.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman recently announced the county lowered the lifeguard age requirement to 15 for some of that county's facilities, such as wading pools. All lifeguards must undergo training and testing to be certified and there are different levels for certain pools and beaches.

Nassau County's outdoor public pools open on June 27.

Last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that lifeguards at state-run pools and beaches would be getting a pay increase. Starting pay for lifeguards at downstate facilities, such as Jones Beach, was raised from $18.15 an hour to $22 an hour.

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