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This Hudson Valley Lifeguard’s Job Will Make Your Skin Crawl

A. Boris
A. Boris

The reason this lifeguard is standing in the water may make you think twice about ever going swimming again.

On an early morning hike around Lake Minnewaska I stumbled across a curious sight. Three lifeguards were quietly standing in the swimming area while families stood on the shoreline anxiously waiting to cool off. The guards announced that no one was allowed to swim for the next five minutes while they stood quietly in the water.

I approached one of the lifeguards to find out what was up with this odd ritual and they told me the stomach-churning reason for their morning wade in the water: They were checking for leeches.

A. Boris
A. Boris

There is a huge colony of leeches living in Lake Minnewaska. While they’re pretty harmless, they can certainly run a day at the beach. So, according to the lifeguard I spoke with, the three guards on duty spread out across the shoreline and dig their feet in the rocks under the water each morning. They patiently stand still and wait for five minutes to see how many leeches attach themselves. The leeches don’t swim, but are attracted to flesh and will quickly wiggle their way to the nearest foot.

After five minutes are up, the guards come out of the water and count the leeches. If it’s an acceptable number the swimmers are allowed to jump in and cool off. Luckily, on the day I witnessed the morning test there were no leeches found.

A. Boris
A. Boris

What do you think about this job? Would having to be leech bait for five minutes every morning be a deal breaker for you? Let us know your thoughts about this odd job requirement on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.

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