Pettibone, Black River beaches not guarded with lifeguards this summer

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- "Swim at your own risk" is the message at La Crosse public beaches this summer.

Pettibone Beach and Black River Beach will not be guarded this summer after the city park board decided to go without lifeguards at the beach.

The city will maintain safe swimming suggested zones with a buoy system, and while there will be no lifeguard presence, the city is offering safety classes for families that frequent the beaches.

"There are certainly more risks for people using beaches, that's why we are offering families water safety classes, and those are free and we are encouraging families to attend those to let them know about how to navigate currents in the water, when there are large boats coming in and out and how to properly fit life jackets,” said Leah Burns, La Crosse recreation coordinator.

The beaches don't officially open until June 7, but people are expected to visit the La Crosse beaches during hours when guards are not on duty including the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.