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Seattle's Seward Park beach closes due to lifeguard shortage

Seattle Parks and Recreation decided to close the Seward Park beach because there aren't enough qualified lifeguards to keep all eight swimming beaches open.

SEATTLE — The Seward Park lifeguarded swimming beach is closed as of Wednesday, July 7, due to a shortage of qualified lifeguards, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR). 

There aren't enough lifeguards for all the planned swimming beaches, according to SPR. The department chose to close the Seward Park beach based on equity considerations and proximity to other open beaches coupled with current parking challenges at the park, with its upper loop closed to car traffic. The nearest beaches to the Seward Park Beach are the Mount Baker Beach and the Pritchard Island Beach. 

Green Lake’s East Beach, which had lifeguards pre-pandemic, will also not have any this summer, SPR said.

SPR will be operating seven other swimming beaches this summer, including Madrona, Magnuson, Matthews, Madison, Mount Baker, Pritchard and West Green Lake. 

"Our decision to close Seward Park beach is a difficult one as we know the community has enjoyed being able to swim at this location since it opened on June 26," the department said in a release. 

However, a higher than normal staff attrition rate and a higher percentage of inexperienced staff means there aren't currently enough employees to maintain all eight swimming beaches. 

Swimming beaches are open daily from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Beaches are open until Labor Day. 

In addition to swimming beaches, there are 11 wading pools, ten spray parks, two outdoor pools and two indoor pools operated by SPR.

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