Now that the roads and bridges have thawed out, it's time to think about summer. People interested in becoming a lifeguard on Pensacola Beach for the 2014 season are invited to tryouts this weekend. The sessions will be held Saturday morning at 7am at the University of West Florida Aquatic Center.
Alexander Johnson, the senior lifeguard says candidates will have to perform a 600 yard swim in 10 minutes or less in the UWF pool, followed by a mile and a half run in 12 minutes or less on the track. There's a half hour break between the swim and the run.
Lifeguard candidates must also be at least 16 years old, have a valid Florida drivers license or be able to get one before the season and then get life guard certification from the Red Cross.
About 50 lifeguards from past years are expected to return for this season. Johnson says that over the past few years they have hired a larger staff of lifeguards for each season...and this year may see a larger jump in that number than usual. That's because there are talks going on now for the Pensacola Beach lifeguards to take over Johnson's, Opal and Langdon Beaches.
During the off season a couple of lifeguards patrol the beach on yellow and red flag days. The season begins on March first. That's when the lifeguard towers will be back on the beach and staffed every day. Again, try outs are this Saturday at 7am at the University of West Florida Aquatic Center, Building 73. Candidates are urged to get to UWF 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. You can learn more at Pensacolabeachlifeguards.com.