Huntington Beach, Calif., might be more famous for hosting surfing competitions, but the crowds lined up on the sand yesterday were there looking for work, reports the Los Angeles Times. The economic downturn has buoyed interest in $16-per-hour lifeguard positions, summer jobs once dominated by bronzed teenagers and college students.
This year, 156 applicants swam and sprinted in a race for 25 jobs, more than doubling last year’s number of lifeguard wannabes. Some were the usual college swimmers and out-of-work surfers, but this group also included a retired Olympian, a former mechanic, and an Air Force underwater-search specialist. Says the Olympian: “They might have youth, but I have experience.”