Atlantic City Beach Patrol struggling to hire lifeguards

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Atlantic City's beach and the historic Steel Pier in the distance. ( photo)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- For the first time in three years, Atlantic City will hold a tryout camp for lifeguards to mitigate a staffing shortage that's affecting the Jersey Shore town's Beach Patrol.

Chief Steve Downey told The Press of Atlantic City that the Beach Patrol is about 30 guards short of last season, when roughly 130 lifeguards watched over Atlantic City's more than 3 1/2 miles of beaches.

Downey said about 150 applications were sent to a list of previous lifeguards. But the Beach Patrol received just 100 interested responses.

United States Lifesaving Association spokesman Tom Gill said staffing issues come down to dollars and cents most of the time. A first-year lifeguard in Atlantic City makes about $100 a day.

The tryout will be held Sunday.

Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.)