Law Would Standardize Requirements for Beach Lifeguards

Updated: 03/28/2014 7:41 AM By: Tom Durian

A Golden Valley lawmaker is working with the family of a young boy who drowned in a local lake.

Together they are trying to strengthen the requirements for lifeguards at local beaches. Six-year -old Tony Caine died after drowning at Wirth Lake in Minneapolis in July of 2012. He was pulled from the water unconscious; a Good Samaritan and lifeguards performed CPR, but it was too late.

Rep. Mike Freiberg  authored "Tony's Law" requiring that all lifeguards on duty at beaches across the state have Red Cross or equivalent level training.

"When I found out that there are requirements for lifeguards at publicly-owned pools but not comparable training requirements at publicly owned beaches, I was surprised about that," Freiberg said.

The lifeguards in Tony's case were certified. Minneapolis, like many local municipalities, requires certification. The bill would make it uniform across the state.

Minn. Sen. Ann Rest sponsored a similar bill. Both bills have made their way through committees and are headed for a vote on the floor.

If passed, the law will take effect in 2015.