CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Park District is being urged to extend lifeguard patrols after the recent drowning of a 13-year-old girl.
The Chicago Tribune reports that lifeguards on beaches along Lake Michigan punch out at 7 p.m., although there’s plenty of daylight to swim.
Darihanne Torres drowned in a rip current, about 30 minutes after lifeguards had left Loyola Beach.
Witnesses have started an online petition to extend lifeguard duty. Before 2009, lifeguards watched the water until 8:30 p.m.
Halle Quezada, who was at the beach, says it’s “irresponsible” to promote tourism but leave the beaches unstaffed after 7 p.m.
A Park District spokeswoman declined to comment but says 870 lifeguards are employed.
Alderman Joe Moore says he doesn’t know if more lifeguards are needed. But he says educating kids about the risks of lake conditions is important.
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