SWIMMERS turning up at the Hilsea Lido today will be disappointed – the pool is closed due to a lack of lifeguards.
The Hilsea Lido Pool For People Trust has been forced to close the pool for the day because only one lifeguard was available to work.
Trust vice-chairwoman Helen Downing-Emms said: ‘We’re closing for the day because we don’t have enough lifeguards.
‘We need a minimum of three on, but we prefer to have four so we can do a bit of jumping and diving in the deep pit.’
The decision follows a difficult week for the pool which was opened last weekend for the first time in six years.
Under-18s were banned from entry without an adult after youngsters got unruly on Sunday, and a group of adult visitors started causing trouble on Tuesday.
But Ms Downing-Emms said the bad behaviour marred an otherwise successful week.
She said: ‘We’ve had two very small incidents of bad behaviour.
‘It’s been taken completely out of context and made to sound like it’s out of control when its not.’
She said the lido had welcomed more than 2,000 visitors in its first five days.
She said: ‘People are incredibly passionate about the lido. It’s phenomenal.’
Ms Downing-Emms appealed for more lifeguards willing to work at the lido.
She said lifeguards had to complete an intensive 40-hour National Pool Lifeguard Qualification to learn first aid and pool rescue skills.
She said: ‘We’re only using a third of the pool at the moment.
‘We would like to have the whole pool open, but that’s not going to happen until we have the number of lifeguards required.’
She said before its closure in 2008 the lido was known for bad behaviour, with people swearing at lifeguards, starting fights and even riding bicycles into the pool.
She said: ‘As a local charity who are running it without funding, we’re not prepared to put up with that kind of behavior.
‘We want a successful Hilsea Lido and not a old-style Hilsea Lido.’
Ms Downing-Emms said large groups of young men would not be allowed entry to the lido if it was busy.
She said: ‘We stand by our right to refuse admission.’