CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – There are nearly 30 swimming locations in Massachusetts staffed with a lifeguard.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced lifeguard services at designated swimming areas are staffed from 10:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. either five or seven days a week depending on location.

Swimming locations in western Massachusetts with lifeguards on duty

Hampden County:

  • Chicopee – Chicopee State Park Beach
  • Westfield – Lamberts Beach at Hampton Ponds State
  • Westfield – Kingsley Beach at Hampton Ponds State

Hampshire County:

  • Goshen – DAR Day Use Beach

Franklin County:

  • Erving – Laurel Lake Beach

Massachusetts Designated Swimming Area Schedule

“The Massachusetts state parks system is made up of popular ocean beaches and inland waterfronts that offer some of the best recreational swimming in the state and we are excited to welcome visitors to these locations,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Safety at our waterfronts is of the utmost priority to the Baker-Polito Administration and we continue to recruit lifeguards who are dedicated to ensuring residents and visitors are able to experience these exceptional waterfronts in a safe environment all season long.” 

There were 47 drowning deaths in Massachusett in 2021, down from a record 125 drowning deaths in 2020. To prevent deaths, the DCR continues to offer incentives for lifeguards, including higher hourly wages.

In addition to addressing the staffing shortage, the DCR reminds beachgoers of simple safety precautions they can take on their own:

  • Only swim at or within designated swimming areas. Swimming outside of the designated swimming areas, or at waterfronts where swimming is prohibited can be dangerous;   
  • Use the buddy system and always tell someone where you are going; 
  • Keep a close eye on children near the water. Parents and other guardians serve as the first and primary line of safety for their children; 
  • Teach children to always ask permission before going near the water; 
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or drugs; 
  • Drink lots of water; 
  • Don’t dive headfirst into the water; 
  • Do not swim during a storm or when there is lightning; 
  • Make sure you know how to swim. If you can’t swim, keep to shallow areas or use a U.S. Coast Guard-guard approved life jacket; 
  • Don’t swim beyond your skillset; 
  • If caught in a rip current, don’t swim against it. Swim parallel to the shoreline to escape it, and then at an angle toward the beach; 
  • When in a boat, wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket; and, 
  • If a person in your group goes missing, check the water and notify lifeguards and park staff. 

Despite the presence of lifeguards at many DCR beaches and waterfront locations, everyone should still exercise caution when visiting state beaches, waterfronts, and other swimming areas.