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La Crosse prepares for summer without lifeguards on beaches



A warning sign at Black River Beach says there will be no lifeguards there this summer

‘Swim at your own risk’ will be the rule at La Crosse’s two public beaches this summer.

The city park department has posted large signs at the Black River Beach and Pettibone, reminding swimmers that there will not be lifeguards at either beach this season.

A shortage of qualified lifeguards led the park department to make that decision earlier this year.

City recreation coordinator Leah Burns says trying to guard a riverfront beach is much harder than swimming pool duty, because the swimming area is bigger and it’s not easy to see the river bottom.

Buoys will be installed at the two beaches early in June, and they will be in place through mid-August.

The park department is still hiring lifeguards for the city-run pools.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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