The Rise of the Urban Lifeguard.

The Rise of the Urban Lifeguard.

A few years ago I was approached by the EveryMan Theatre & Playhouse in Liverpool to lifeguard on a Saturday evening an event where local poets and story tellers recited stories about Liverpool’s heritage, the event was held around the locks on the Liverpool link from the Stanley Dock to the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. It was different than my past experience of being a lifeguard and I expect that I am not the first person to act as a lifeguard in an urban area and be different than what historical we did as a lifeguard patrolling a poolside or beach.

The growth and popularity of the Aqua Parks in the United Kingdom has meant the development of the urban lifeguard, yes there are Aqua parks in lakes, but the inner city aqua parks have developed in the docklands in non-tidal water , large man- made open water spaces – in its essence “open air swimming pools without chlorine and nature’s natural heating !

What are Aqua Parks ?

Aqua Parks are large wipe out-style floating assault courses on water, a giant floating playground. People participating are given a safety induction before their session and are required to wear wet suits to protect them from elements, buoyancy aids and some parks they provide safety helmets. Every effort is made by the Aqua Parks operators for the safety of the guests so they have a fun, safe and exhilarating experience. There is clear guidance about safety on the induction and website to the guests, I have included this link for Adventure Dock in Liverpool which gives information about using the Aqua Park – Adventure Dock Aqua Park Information

FoxLake Dundee Aqua Park , Victoria Dock, Dundee

How do you get qualified to work as lifeguard at an Aqua Park ?

The development of Open Water Swimming in the United Kingdom in the recent years meant the Royal Life Saving Society developed an Open Water Lifeguard Qualification. The pool and beach lifeguard qualifications have long been established but the increase in Open Water swimming meant there was a need to have qualified lifeguards for training or events for still and non-tidal open water. As the numbers of Aqua Parks increased in the country this qualification was perfect for them. Candidates can either do a three day course or existing pool lifeguards can do a one day course to gain an Open Water Lifeguard Qualification. Open Water Lifeguards must be decent swimmer be able swim at least 400 metres in a pool/ open water swimming continuously on their front and showing urgency.

Adventure Dock Aqua Park, Dukes Dock, Liverpool

The Aqua Parks recruit lifeguards or Aqua Guides for the season and train them as lifeguards and in other skills or a person may hold the Open Water lifeguard qualification. Its not all just about being a lifeguard but also excellent customer service.

There are a lot of Aqua Parks inland in the country which offer employment as lifeguards in the summer and its a great way to spend the summer months and work outside, previously working outside as a lifeguard would of been in an open air pool or on the beach which are coastal areas.