Scan for Signs of Potential Problems
As you become more experienced you will be able to identify the strength of the swimmers who are in your area. You will want to quickly identify weak swimmers and make a mental note of them. It is also important to look for guests who appear to be unsure of their abilities as they may be careless in the water. They could accidentally move into a deep area or become frightened if they doubt their abilities.
Scan Crowded Areas
Crowded areas are especially difficult for lifeguarding because you may not be able to see every patron. Be on the lookout for movement of limbs that appear to be struggling. You cannot assume that since the area is crowded, a patron will alert you if another patron is in trouble. It is possible for a person to slip under the water without much notice. Crowded areas are another good reason to stand up or shift your body to get a new perspective.
Do Not Stop Scanning
As the lifeguard on duty, you will have to field questions from guests. When this happens, it is extremely important that you do not look away from your area. Once the question is asked, immediately acknowledge the patron letting them know that you are unable to interrupt your scanning to look at them. Another common thing you will face while on duty is distractions from outside of your area. As there will be distractions every day, you will need to maintain focus and actively scan while you are on duty.
Scanning is a great tool to use to ensure that you monitor your entire area. While it may be easy to assume that self-identified strong swimmers are safe in the water, they still face danger. To keep all patrons safe, make sure that you practice effective safe scanning techniques.