Lifeguard perches provoke criticism

The decision by the National Park Service to add 21st century-looking lifeguard stands to Trunk Bay hasstirred controversy on and off island.

(Photo courtesy of Cindy in Pa., on the VIOL Web site.)

"Of course, blowing them up is a little strong, but I wouldn't mind if they blew away," said Capn Dan and Ruby on the Virgin Islands On-line Web site.  While Iowaguy agreed, Xislandgirl took a more calm view, saying "We can dislike them all we want but if the Lifeguards, that are there to ensure the public's safety, are happy with them, then I am happy with them."

TropicAtHeart said, the new white stands "completely ruin the natural look of Trunk that many have enjoyed for decades."

Mark Hardgrove, superintendent of the Park, said the stands will be painted to make them blend in with the scenery, the St. John Source reported.   Camouflage netting will also go over the stands.  He told the Source the new stands give the lifeguards greater protection from the sun and they also store rescue equipment.

Bob Schlesinger of Tropical Focus provided this photo.


Read comments about the new lifeguard stands here.

14 thoughts on “Lifeguard perches provoke criticism”

  1. That is hideous. It looks a space probe has landed at Trunk Bay. I would rather live with the risk of there not being a lifeguard present–which has long worked at nearly every other VI beach–than share the beach with this.

  2. John S just posted what I was thinking when I looked at it, it looks like some sort of miniature space shuttle. It certainly detracts from the natural surroundings within the National Park. I think if I were a lifeguard there (What a great job by the way)I think I’d rather the ones that were there previously….

  3. For me the central issue is that it’s in a National Park. If somebody wants to put one somewhere on St Thomas, that would be fine. In a National Park, structures should be in harmony with the environment. These things clash with the environment. National Parks are quite special. This is a much deeper issue than what lifeguards like. The Parks are kind of like holy ground. They should be respected. Is this really the best option they could have come up with? Seems to me that it might be one of the worst, or anyway one of the least thoughtful options. It would be fine in Florida or on St Thomas, but the Parks deserve so much better.

  4. I went looking for the old ones hoping to save one and use it as a view seat up on Bordeaux. Unfortunately they were busted up in a heap behind the beach. Painting the new ones will definitely help. Either way they are not going anywhere.

  5. I don’t care as much as others as to how they look, or how they will look after they’re painted. Everybody will get used to them. What I don’t get is that, while congress and the president are trying to reduce our national debt and avoid a possible default, our tax dollars are being spent in a wasteful, irresponsible manner. I researched what other beaches spent on similar lifeguard towers and I found prices ranging from $24,500 to over $50,000 for each one, depending on the features. Now 24K-50K is a lot of scratch, and for all of us folks to just shrug our shoulders and accept some government bureaucrat to make the decision to spend that kind of dough is much more disturbing to me then the ‘space probe” look of the things. I honestly think that it’s possible to make the guards safer, and more comfortable, for a lot less money. I’d also like to know how much each of these cost on STJ with shipping, installation and painting.

  6. JT, we saw them today for the first time and that was my first question… how much did these things cost!? Yes, they aren’t very nice to look at… but even more important who paid for them!?

  7. Yuk, just another touristy looking attraction on a Caribbean island. St John is truly losing its unique, quiet and beautiful status.

  8. Next thing you know David Hasselhoff will be running down the beach and they will be filming a comeback of Bay Watch. What a ridiculous over kill!! Are the stands airconditioned too?

  9. What was wrong with the wooden high chair and an umbrella tucked in along the tree line? Typical government employee spending money on something no one would ever buy for themselves. Send it back to where it came from, get our money back and fire the idiot that bought it.

  10. We’ve been coming to St. John for many years and the life guards have always been great so if these structures are better for them, then I’ll learn to live with the new stands. I do look forward to seeing them painted so they are less obvious, though.

  11. Danger Will Robinson…. Danger!!! hahaha The charm is slowly slipping away for sure…. Safaris will soon be replaced by buses or a Disney Tram…??

  12. Hideous is an understatement.
    The choice of this stand for that beach could only be made by a person who is insensitive to why we love this magnificent island.
    Let’s petition the Park director, or his boss, if necessary, to remove it to St. Thomas.
    If that doesn’t work, a Congress-focused campaign would be in order. If a picture is worth a thousand words,
    a thousand pictures attached to a thousand emails, should help.
    Let’s start with the director’s email.
    Anyone know it?

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