August 30th, 2019 – Students from the Town of Islip's 2019 Open Water Swim Jr. Lifeguard program came to Islip's Atlantique Beach Saturday, August 24 to celebrate the culmination of an 8-week program by demonstrating their newly learned skills in a series of open water competitions.
One hundred youth enrolled in the 2019 Jr. Lifeguard program at Atlantique, now in its second year. Participants boarded an early morning ferry for 8 consecutive Saturdays to Atlantique Beach, where they were taught essential life-saving skills. Junior Lifeguarding is open to youth ages 9 through 16 years of age. The course teaches water safety and introduces participants to the duties and responsibilities of an ocean lifeguard. Participants practice life-saving techniques, identify dangerous water conditions, and learn to use rescue equipment.
"This is a great introduction for children to develop confidence in open water, as well as to learn life-saving skills at a very early age," said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.
The program culminated with swimming races and drills. All participants were presented with medals, regardless of placement in the competition. "This is a fantastic program for youth. The improvement in the childrens' skills from early July to the end of August is remarkable. In addition to building a foundation to prepare for the NYS Level 1 Ocean Lifeguard Test, the program builds self-esteem and character," said Coach Bryan.
The course is a preparation, and not a certification program.