Swimmers in Prince Rupert will be facing reduced hours at the aquatic centre due to lack of lifeguards, the city stated on Sept. 7. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Swimmers in Prince Rupert will be facing reduced hours at the aquatic centre due to lack of lifeguards, the city stated on Sept. 7. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Lack of lifeguards leaves some Prince Rupert swimmers high and dry

National shortage of qualified staff is blamed for cuts to pool hours

A lack of lifeguards is leaving Prince Rupert Aquatic Center swimmers high and dry after the facility reduced hours to offset the lack of staff, City of Prince Rupert announced on Sept. 7.

“Anyone who has followed the city’s Recreation Department on social media, or has had their family’s attempt to go swimming thwarted by a closure, may have noticed that the city is currently short on lifeguards,” a media statement reads.

Legally the city is required to have a minimum number of lifeguards on duty.

“Given the Canada-wide lifeguard shortage that has been impacting our pool as well as others, the department will be opening the pool facilities slightly later, and closing earlier.”

While the swimming and fitness facilities have been closed since Aug. 22 for annual maintenance the change in pool hours will be effective with the September 12 reopening.

“This shutdown occurs every year and involves the full draining of the pool so that regular maintenance tasks can be conducted. Maintenance work includes things like pressure washing, tile replacement, drainage and pump maintenance among other tasks,” the city stated in an email to The Northern View, adding staff training is also conducted during the shutdown period.

The future reduced hours are aimed to lessen the frequency of closures. The change will ensure that the recreation department can operate more consistently, and give patrons greater surety around pool availability, the city stated.

The main changes are the pool will be open for lane swim only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., the pool will open at 9 a.m Tuesdays and Thursdays for aquafit and then open for limited use after 10 a.m. There will also be a midday closure Mon. and Wed. from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The full pool schedule can be found on the city’s recreation webpage.

In order to impact the lowest number of people using the pool, amendments to the opening hours are focussed on the less busy periods.

“Recreation staff have reached out to frequent users that we know access the facility during non-peak times, who will be most impacted by the changes,” the municipality explained.

In addition, the city will continue offering lifeguard training to support local capacity to fill these critical safety positions. If and when additional capacity is available, this schedule change will be revisited.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a lifeguard, please contact the Recreation Department at (250) 624 6707 or email the recreation manager at ashley.daigle@princerupert.ca.


K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter