By CBS3 Staff

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) – You have a chance to become a new lifeguard in Ocean City, New Jersey. Ocean City Beach Patrol held the second round of lifeguard tryouts Monday morning as part of an effort to address an ongoing lifeguard shortage affecting beaches and pools across the Jersey Shore.

Before last year, Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) only held lifeguard tryouts in June, but Allan Karas, OCBP’s director of operations, said the August tryouts gave more opportunities to people who want to be a lifeguard, but who couldn’t make it to the June tryouts.

“It’s just thinking about recruitment in a different way than we had before,” Karas said. “We also open it up to people that turn 16 next year, so hopefully, we’re going to lock in some 15-year-olds that might not be able to take next June’s test, [let them] finish whatever they’ve been doing, and are able to start work for us next year.”
William Mead, 20, was one of 14 applicants who participated in Monday’s tryouts.
He said the August tryouts allowed him to get his body and mind in peak condition.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Holding Tryouts For New Lifeguards

“I have a big love for this beach. Big love for all these guys out here. Big respect for the lifeguard community so I figured I’d give it a go,” Mead said. “I would tell [families] their kids are safe at all times.”

Karas said they’ve had to shut down parts of the beach because of the ongoing lifeguard shortage.

“But we think we actually improved response times with our vehicles and our communications. Our jet ski rescue system is excellent down here,” Karas said. “We could always use more people, but we’re making do.”
 
He said the August tryouts will also help them fill staffing holes once some of the lifeguards leave for college in a few weeks.
 
Karas said swimmers should always swim in front of a lifeguard and never swim in an area that’s not protected by the beach patrol.

The tryouts include a swim test, paddling boarding, a half-mile run, and more.

All candidates have to be 16, and must also complete an interview.