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New York City Law Regarding the Presence of a Lifeguard at a Hotel Swimming Pool | New York City Swimming Pool Accidents | No Lifeguard at a New York City Swimming Pool at a Hotel

Frank J. Dito, Jr.
Car accident, personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney serving Staten Island and Brooklyn New York.

In New York hotels are not required to have lifeguards or supervision at hotels or motels but are required to have signs if no lifeguards are present which are to be posted in easily viewed areas around the pool advising visitors at the hotel or motel that the hotel or motel is not responsible for any pool related accidents, injuries or deaths and that you are basically swimming at your own risk.

The exception to this law is if the hotel or motel is located in New York City. New York City hotels and motels are required by New York City law to have a lifeguard on duty at all times when the hotel pool is open.  This law can be found in Article 165.15 of the Rules of the City of New York.  Article 165.15 mentions the following information about bathing establishments, such as pools, at hotels and motels in the City of New York (a "bathing establishment" is considered to be a pool that is at least 3 feet deep):

  • Maintenance - All bathing establishments should be maintained and operated in a safe, clean and sanitary condition at all times
  • Certifications - All bathing establishments shall be operated and supervised by the required certified personnel. The pool operator is only allowed to hire aquatic supervisory staff that are appropriately certified. A copy of all supervisory staff shall be kept on file by the establishment at all times.
  • Pool Operator - A pool operator is to be designated and responsible for the overall operation and compliance with this article of the bathing establishment. A pool operator is to be certified in swimming technology administered by the department. A refresher course from time to time may be necessary to maintain the title of "pool operator".
  • Aquatic Supervisory Staff - Except for in a pool used for physical therapy any public pool (including pools at hotels and motels) must have appropriately certified aquatic supervisory staff present whenever the pool is open. A minimum of one supervising lifeguard is requires three or four aquatic supervisory staff members to be present.
    The supervisory staff need to meet the following requirements:
       (A) Supervision Level II - Pool Lifeguard
            (1) Shall be at least 16 years old (15 if a supervising lifeguard is present)
            (2) Shall possess a current American Red Cross basic life support for the professional rescuer Cardiopulmunary   
                 Resuscitation (CPR) or equivalent American Red Cross certificate or New York Department of Health
                 certificate.  Certification shall not exceed one year.
            (3) Shall possess a current American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Certificate or an equivalent certification though
                 the New York Department of Health.
      (B) Supervision Level III and IIIA
           Supervision Level III
           (1) Shall be at least 18 years old (16 if certified as a level II lifeguard)
           (2) Shall possess a current American Red Cross basic life support for the professional rescuer Cardiopulmunary
                Resuscitation (CPR) certificate or an equivalent certificate. Certification shall not exceed one year.
           (3) Shall be competent enough to apply the provisions of this article and the safety plan, environmental hazards, 
                use life-saving equipment and be able to control bathers and crowds.
           Supervision Level IIIA
           (1) Involved in direct supervision of bathers and must have a certificate issued by the American Red Cross in
                Lifeguard Management or a similar certificate issued by the state Commissioner of Health.
     (C) Supervising Lifeguard
          (1) Supervising lifeguard shall have qualifications of Supervision Level II
          (2) At least 2 years adequate lifeguard experience
  • Supervision -  Aquatic supervisory staff must be on the pool deck and provide continuous visual supervision without any interference or interruption of his/her duties unless additional supervisory staff is provided. When supervisory staff is not present the pool must be cleared of all swimmers / bathers prior to the lifeguard / aquatic supervisory staff leaving the pool area.

As you can see from the article a lifeguard is required at all public pools in New York City, including pools at hotels in New York City.

For information on how many lifeguards must be present at pools in New York City read our article.