HALIFAX: Lifeguards are on duty at beaches around the region, but this summer, it is different.

The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service has 82 lifeguards supervising 23 beaches across 12 counties in the province. In the summer of 2019, over 370, 000 people visited beaches and more than 110 rescues took place.

The beaches will be supervised daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until August 30. A list of supervised beaches can be found on the NSLS Web site at: http://www.lifesavingsociety.ns.ca/index.php/nsls-home/beaches.

In the Strait area, lifeguards are at beaches in Bayfield, Pomquet, Point Michaud, Port Hood, and Inverness.

“There’s trained lifeguards and this summer we had to take some new precautions because of COVID-19,” explained Katherine Khorovets, public relations officer for the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service. “So our lifeguards, when they’re doing a rescue, they have to have their PPE on, and things like that. During our training camp, they learned new procedures that they wouldn’t take in previous years.

“They’re there to obviously do their normal jobs but they also they will have to remind the public of social distancing.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are new safety precautions that guards will take, like having extra equipment and training. The main goal is to keep beachgoers safe and provide visitors with the best possible experience. Everyone is encouraged to continue following public health guidelines, like social distancing, when attending the beach this summer.

The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service explained in the case of a rescue, the lifeguard will try and bring the person in with the most amount of distance possible. Another guard donned in a mask, face shield, gloves, and a gown will begin the CPR process, using a mask that allows oxygen to be pumped in with minimal human contact.

This year, the Lifesaving Society is teaming up with Camp Brigadoon to put together a fundraiser in support of Brigadoon; Lifesaving Society NS Brigaswim Challenge 2020. The event will take place during the week of August 10-14, with swim times at 11 a.m.-12 p.m., or 4 p.m.-5 p.m. daily at all NSLS supervised beaches. Participants will have the option to complete a one, three, or five kilometre swim. Registration for the event can be found on the Brigadoon Web site: https://brigadoonvillage.org.

Khorovets said participants will choose their beach and the day of their swim and try to get sponsors.

“Prior to the lifeguarding season, we usually have our training camp at Camp Brigadoon… and because of COVID this year, it wasn’t able to happen,” said Khorovets. “We really support what they do for families and children in Atlantic Canada so we decided to give back to them in a different way.”