DCR opening 81 beaches in Massachusetts this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know

Memorial Day Weekend is here and there’s no shortage of beach-going opportunities in the Bay State.

Eighty-one beaches will be ready for swimmers, picnickers and sunbathers this weekend, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation says.

Officials are urging beachgoers to be safe and to exercise caution near bodies of water this summer.

“DCR works, every year, to make our waterfronts and pools as safe as possible for visitors seeking relief from the summer heat,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “Starting this weekend, I am excited to welcome families back to our parks and beaches and I encourage everyone to take precautions and follow posted signage when visiting our properties to ensure a safe and fun experience.”

Lifeguards will be at many locations this holiday weekend before going on duty seven days a week at many beaches on June 17.

DCR will also provide free swimming lessons to children at select agency pools starting in July.

The DCR is continuing to recruit lifeguards for the rest of the summer.

Massachusetts bumping up wages for lifeguards, opens up applications ahead of summer season

Beachers and boaters are advised to adhere to the following water safety tips:

·    Only swim at or within designated swimming areas. Swimming outside of the designated swimming areas, or at waterfronts where swimming is prohibited can be dangerous;  Use the buddy system and always tell someone where you are going;

·       Use the buddy system and always tell someone where you are going;

· Keep a close eye on children near the water. Parents and other guardians serve as the first and primary line of safety for their children;

·       Teach children to always ask permission before going near the water;

·       Avoid consuming alcohol or drugs;

·       Drink lots of water;

·       Don’t dive headfirst into the water;

·       Do not swim during a storm or when there is lightning;

·       Make sure you know how to swim. If you can’t swim, keep to shallow areas or use a U.S. Coast Guard-guard-approved life jacket;

·       Don’t swim beyond your skillset;

·       If caught in a rip current, don’t swim against it. Swim parallel to the shoreline to escape it and then at an angle toward the beach;

·       When in a boat, wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket; and

· If a person in your group goes missing, check the water and notify lifeguards and park staff immediately.

The full list of open beaches is as follows:

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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