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Lifeguard Waterfront


The purpose of the Waterfront Skills module is to teach lifeguards the skills and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to emergencies in non-surf, open-water areas found at public parks, resorts, summer camps and campgrounds.



Candidates must:

  1. Have a current American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/FirstAid/CPR/AED or enrolled in our Lifeguarding certification course.

  2. Be 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course.

  3. Swim 550 yards, continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both,but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.

  4. Swim 5 yards, submerge and retrieve three dive rings placed 5 yards a part in 4 to 7 feet of water, resurface and continue to swim another 5 yards to complete the skill sequence.

  5. Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under the armpits.

  6. Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:

  • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. Swim goggles are not allowed.

  • Surface dive, feet-first or headfirst, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.

  • Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so they are able to get a breath.

  • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.


5 hours, 45 minutes


To successfully complete the Lifeguarding Waterfront course, candidates must:

  1. Attend the entire course and participate in all class sessions.

  2. Actively participate in all course activities, including assuming various roles during scenarios.

  3. Demonstrate competency in all required skills.

  4. Pass the final skills scenarios.

  5. Successfully pass final written exams with a minimum grade of 80%. If a participant fails to reach the minimum 80% on the final written exam, a retest is allowed using the other version of the exam, provided that the participant has passed the practical assessment.


Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a certification in Waterfront Skills, which is valid for 2 years. However, it is only valid when accompanied by a current American Red Cross Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certificate.


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