The Town of Southampton Parks and Recreation Department hosted its 15th annual Junior Lifeguard Tournament at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays on Saturday. The event is the culmination of a five-week program offered by the parks department at four Southampton Town beaches—Sagg Main and Mecox east of the Shinnecock Canal, and Ponquogue and Tiana beaches to the west. For five weekends, starting after the July 4th weekend, children age 11 to 15 participated in ocean safety and awareness clinics conducted by Southampton Town lifeguards. The program ran on Sunday mornings at Sagg Main and Saturday mornings at Mecox, Ponquogue and Tiana. The adult lifeguards taught the more than 100 kids who enrolled how to enjoy the ocean safely and responsibly.
At the tournament on Saturday, the kids participated in a distance run, distance swim, paddle board relay, two-person torp rescue, a pack-strap relay (which is a dry land victim carry), a run-swim-run relay, a 4×100-meter soft sand relay, and beach flags.
Many of the Southampton Town lifeguards who were instructors in the program came up through the programs as juniors several years ago.