2009-07-16 / News

Mackerel Cove lifeguard staff includes both familiar and new faces

By Samantha Emrich

Seven lifeguards are responsible for keeping Mackerel Cove beachgoers safe this summer. Four of the guards patrolled the beach last year, while three are new to the job of lifeguarding.

As the most experienced of the crew, Samantha Alger, 22, of North Kingstown became the head lifeguard this year. Alger, who has four years of lifeguarding experience at Mackerel Cove, was the assistant head lifeguard last summer.

The unique nature of lifeguarding, along with her passion for the outdoors, led her to apply to be a lifeguard four years ago, she said. “I wanted a job where I could work outside,” she said. “And it’s a lot of work going through training and getting certified. Not everyone can do it. I thought it’d be cool to do something not everyone does.”

Alger, who will soon graduate from the University of Rhode Island, said she loves her job, along with the responsibility of ensuring others’ safety. “I really like being the protector,” she said.

Newcomer Eric von Hohenleiten, 18, of Jamestown, a 2009 North Kingstown High School graduate, said his friend and fellow guard, Victor Lambert, sparked his interest in the position. “My friend Victor lifeguards at the beach and he encouraged me to apply,” he said.

von Hohenleiten, who will attend Maine Maritime Academy in the fall and plans to major in engineering, said his love for the water, swimming and being outdoors makes lifeguarding enjoyable. “I can’t imagine myself having an office job,” he said.

Another first-time lifeguard, Jessica Bucklin, 18, of Jamestown, saw the position as a great fit for several reasons. “I’m a good swimmer and I can walk to the beach from my house,” she said. “Also, I’m friends with some of the lifeguards there.”

Bucklin played on the North Kingstown High School volleyball team and says she plans to continue playing “just for fun” in the future. When she’s not lifeguarding or spiking the ball over the net, Bucklin enjoys learning languages in her spare time. “I want to try to learn every language that comes my way,” she said.

Bucklin said she plans to major in global studies at Global College, a part of Long Island University, and will also continue to study Spanish. “The school specializes in culture and languages,” she said. “I’m spending each year in a different country.”

An easy decision

First-time lifeguard Trevor Kenyon, 16, a junior at North Kingstown High School, said he has been swimming competitively since he was 8 years old. In his free time, he also enjoys water sports, including water skiing and tubing. His experience in swimming made his decision to try lifeguarding this year an easy one.

“I’m already a good swimmer,” he said. “So I just transferred those skills to my job, needed to get CPR certified and go through training.”

Though his graduation is two years away, Kenyon said he “will definitely swim in college” and hopes to swim for a Division 1 team.

So far, Kenyon said, his first summer as a lifeguard has been enjoyable. “I like it a lot,” he said. “There’s a lot of good people to work with and it’s a great job to have.”

Karina Carlson, 17, of North Kingstown, was an avid swimmer during her four years at North Kingstown High School. She was captain of the N.K.H.S. girls swim team during her senior year.

Carlson said lifeguarding is a perfect fit for her lifestyle. “I love the beach,” she said. “I’m always there, so it makes sense for me to work there.”

According to Carlson, she “might continue” swimming in college. “I won’t swim my freshman year,” she said. “But maybe I will sophomore year. I have to see how heavy the work load is.”

Carlson will attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and will major in fashion design.

A leadership role

Lory Marsocci, 18, of North Kingstown, just completed her first year at Radford University in Virginia. She swam for the girls swim team at North Kingstown High School and swam during her freshman year at Radford University. “I’ve been competitively swimming all my life,” she said. “I swam on the Division 1 team at Radford this year.”

While Marsocci said she enjoyed her year on the swim team, she said she does not plan to continue college swimming because of the “time commitment.”

Now in her second year as a lifeguard, Marsocci, also an avid painter, said she sees her work as “a respectable job and a leadership role.”

Victor Lambert, 18, of James town, also in his second year as a lifeguard, said he has been a competitive swimmer for about eight years. He competed on the boys swim team during his years at North Kingstown High School and is a recent graduate of the school.

He will attend Northeastern University in the fall.

Lifeguards are on duty at Mackerel Cove Beach during the summer seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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